Summer

Summer made it difficult for them to know when to stop drinking. It stayed light so late that there was no natural sign that it was time for them to go home. As a result, in the summer every day started with a headache and a long, bright bout of melancholy. It seemed like they should be busy, but the endless light and heat produced a lazy feeling. Even when it finally got dark the air cooled down, but the asphalt leaked warmth against feet and legs as they walked home. And because it didn’t get dark until midnight and the sun came up at five, if they made it home by three there were only a couple of hours left to rest before sunrise.

This wasn’t out of character for them at all. I want to be clear, so I should just say that they never had any intention of being ambitious. They were not the sort to get up early. I know that you’re thinking you understand, and maybe you do, but it’s not just that they wanted to stay in bed. Lots of people want to stay in bed in the morning. But they actually did it. They slept away mornings, worked crappy jobs in the afternoon and went to the bar at night.

Many people get out of bed because they feel guilty about sleeping in. These people will try to understand, but the guilt is a fundamental difference between early risers and late risers. I’m an early riser myself, and only recently began to understand what it is to crush your guilt so thoroughly that it can’t get you up anymore.

They still felt guilty about sleeping in which is why they were essentially very sad. But they had grown so used to ignoring the sadness, that it didn’t do them any good. Guilt and shame are strong motivators if they aren’t just status quo. I haven’t gotten all that far in life, but I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere at all without the constant terror of failure and wasting time. So I’ve tried to get better at things, improve myself, improve my life. That’s what sensible people do.

Sensible people also get bored. It sounds like their life was terribly boring, doesn’t it? But they were never bored. It wasn’t possible to bore them, I don’t think. Watching the grass grow was interesting to them. As long as they had something to drink while it grew.

Listen to me. I sound like some sort of motivational speaker or something. But I worried about them. As far as I could see they had no value in their lives. But they weren’t actively bored or guilty or ashamed. And how do you move when you aren’t motivated? So they never moved. They were like cliffs. Drunk cliffs.

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