Boys of Summer

The bright red clouds soaked with the last of the suns light, mirrored across the falling trees and the neighborhood that held a special glow for a precious few minutes as the boys recapped the days events in smiles and exaggerated reenactment. Passing by other groups doing the same, each drawing from the others excitement. Knowing that adventure didn’t belong solely to them, but that no other groups could compare. The humidity finally breaking as the ocean breeze carried them forward. Reaching the abandoned soccer field where they ended all of their summer nights, each other no more than a shadow in the wide, dimly lit field. Running back and forth, jostling and telling stories, each boy falling into their individual roles.

And it was one of the sweetest pleasures of childhood to have a box that only you fit in. A box that was forever necessary for this thing that you knew to be an absolute good. Lifting their fingers towards the sky to feel the wind against their moist hands. Drawing them in as they plotted the next days adventure. The boys finding that no amount of energy expended was a waste, that it ran continuous and when one of them fell behind the others would gift them energy with their words of encouragement. The whispers turning into screams as their joy caught up with them. The heightened language of childhood and its possibilities.

And the stories slightly awkward for the boys didn’t know how to compliment one another, to relay their admiration for the individuals courage and cunning. So that all of the glory fell back on the days events and its outcome. The actors only mentioned in passing, but all of the boys knew and they relished in their contribution. Bellowing with laughter as their fears and panic were recounted, their twisting torsos barely holding form as they shook and pounded the ground. Falling over themselves to feel as strongly as their bodies would allow.

And sometimes they would lay down on the grass and talk about things bigger than themselves. About the world that was changing all around them, almost as if in response to their own changes. Their dreams growing bigger as they began to understand what their group had come to represent.

‘I’m gonna beat him..’

‘Stop it.’

‘Come on Simon… Let it go’

‘The man with the big hands, I’m gonna beat him once and for all’

‘You can’t beat him, just ignore it. Remember last time.’

‘That was last time, you watch. When I beat him everyones gonna know he’s a fake’

‘It wont do any good, not with a guy like that, everyone knows it but they don’t care. They like him as a fake.’

‘That’s why, they like him because they don’t think there’s any other way. That’s what we have to do.’

And the boys knew that anything said on that grass, especially by Simon would become their collective destiny. That it was his right as their leader and that he had earned it. They could beat him and everyone would be better off for it. The man with the big hands would have to be next.