This summer was going to suck. I was ready to be stuck in an empty New Haven … even though, admittedly, it was my prerogative to stay. I was, for the school year, a persistently penniless freshman who spent cash on the tsk-tsk-worthy. So, as the days grew longer, I was full of a certain dull expectancy for heat waves and a yawning (paying) job at the Beinecke. I was. Then, I opened my eyes. Immediately, I saw streets whose veins are usually clogged with the thick blue of Yale memorabilia suddenly stream beautiful black faces in what is (lest we forget) a beautiful black town. I saw Old Campus deserted at tanning hours, leaving it open to speculation. I saw ambitious shades of green that left daguerreotypes hanging on the back of my eyelids. And, most importantly, I saw a pocketful of posy people, who happened to be very cozy coincidentally. New Haven is a summer paradise (all crime rates, poverty, scandals, politics aside). We all have our flaws. I exclaim it proudly.
Thus, from lessons learned and months grown, I urge twice.
I urge you, firstly, to pull your eyes off blinding screens and dimly lit pages and try catching a bus for once. The countryside embraces us; we are in its womb, and we so sullenly latch onto umbilical security that we forget there are trees; there is dirt; there is sky. In fact, there is even beach at Lighthouse Point, where toes reunite with sand, where water serenades stranded seaweed, and where abs glisten with the luster of a newborn’s forehead. There is even an easy path there, via public transportation, the bane of the naïve and the savior of the well-traveled. Catch the O bus. Open your eyes.
I urge you, secondly, to be limber, an urban dancer.
The city breathes; its lungs expand on weekend nights.
Take the wind out of yourself, I insist. I’ve been exasperated since June 1st, as I’ve found myself on scattered nights amongst the sweaty throng at Gotham nightclub, or soothing my addled brain with Bill T. Jones’ dulcet voice, or ogling the spectacle of homemade sangria (use oranges). I’ve found myself devouring rich foods, delicate lentils and mango nectar, bought at Edge of the Woods, our closest organic supermarket. I’ve found myself mostly, though, gluing myself to good people, on roofs, in rooms, on lawns, in loveseats, on walks, on runs, in gyms, at jams. There are treasures in all towns, New Haven being no exception; these treasures usually gleam behind the smiles of such good people. Simply: make friends; have picnics; face dangers; realize mistakes; hold hands; watch trees; feel grass; sniff air; read Bolano; kiss lips; sing songs; drink drinks; smoke smokes; and verb-noun, verb-noun, verb-noun. And just never forget to look.