Summer in the City (2017)
“I love Summer in the city”, the old man on the corner shouted. I would walk passed him on my daily route to work and everyday at 7.45 am he’d shout the same thing. I was always amused by the man, judging by his ever growing beard and untamed hair it was fair to assume the man was a local to the corner of William and Murray st.
One day, after a morning where everything seemed to have gone wrong just between me waking up and missing the bus, it was 7.44 am and I was passing the corner the homeless man made his usual routine yodalay’s. This time, I was sour and for some reason was taking it out on everyone else around me. So I went up to the man as he woke and stopped him before he shouted his famous words and asked him why does he love Summer so much in this damned city.
The man stood up, told me to sit down and said, “do you have time?” I thought to myself, I’m already late for work, why not just go all the way, so I replied “yes I do” and sat down on the bench. I never realised from this seat/bed/home that you can really see everything that happens in the city. So the man, pacing up and down, looked as though he was bout to say a speech that would change the face of humanity eventually stopped, “Ok, I’ve got it” he said. He went on to say this:
“Summer growing up as a kid was magical, I would always wake up early and run into my parents room and wake up my Dad up. “Lets go for a surf” I’d say, and he would say “okay, okay go get ready”. Of course I’d get ready, run back into his room, be standing there ready to go and he would just lay there sleeping. So I would always just stand there until it became awkward, “alright, I’m up” he’d say, eventually slip inro wetsuit and we’d venture down to the beach. Those were my favourite memories of my Dad and he’d always say “ I love summer in this City “. I would always be able to lip sync the exact moment when he was about to say it.
Years passed, and I went to school, went to university, dropped out, re-enrolled, dropped out, re-enrolled, and that became the theme. Until one day, my dad passed away and from that point I stopped going back to University. I decided to attempt my fortune and starting my own Surf store down by the bay called “Summer City Surf”. I invested all the money I had into the business and for the first few months it was doing really well. But after that, I never thought to think about all the other seasons of the year when Surf boards weren’t really in demand. So I messed up, yeah I know, I messed up. I wasn’t making any money, still had to pay rent for the shop and it was all coming out of my pocket. It got to the point where my mum couldn’t bail me out anymore because she said “you have to figure this out for yourself”.
Not to long after that she passed away and this is when things got really bad. I was stuck with no one to turn to, so I had to sell my car, eventually sell the business and my house because I was too far in debt. I began living in an old van that my friend let me borrow a while ago to transport surf boards for delivery. Eventually I couldn’t even afford to keep the van running, so I sold it and got a whole $450 for it. At this point I knew that this was it, I had exhausted every piece of product sellable. All I had was my surf board that I did not want to part with and at this time, I started developing bad habits that really lead to health issues. One day I was so high off my mind that I traded my surf board with this kid for his ham and cheese sandwich. At the time I enjoyed the sandwich so much that I didn’t even care for the board, but the next day I gave up and decided to move to the city, where I could at least be around other people like myself.
So I moved out here, claimed this bench as my own and have now been here for around 4 years now. So, when you hear me shout at the top of my lungs why I love Summer in this city at least you’ll know why I enjoy it so much now.”
The time was now 8.37 and I had needed to be at work at 8, so I thanked the man for telling me that amazing story. From that point, everyday on the way to work I’d pass by the man with two coffee’s and two ham and cheese toasties, wake him up and say, “hey, move over, let me have a seat”. We’d have a coffee, enjoy our ham and cheese toasties and have chats about the latest going on’s in this amazing city.
This man made me truly love Summer in the city