On my (beautiful) drive into work this morning, I wondered what summer will be like in New Jersey.
I haven’t spent a summer in New Jersey since 2010. Back then, I was working at my old library and I just purchased my car. Ally was around. I wasn’t weighed down by the responsibilites of work and school. The following summer, I worked at a library in Pennsylvania. In retrospect, I loved it.
Friday shifts were my favorite. The library was partially-staffed on then since the other half would work that Saturday. There was quiet and calm. We would close at 5 or 6pm — Whenever the last patron found their way out. When the clock struck close, none of us were in a mad-dash to get to our cars and get home though. We would mill around in the staff lot, laughing, talking, and basking in the sunlight that stuck around for a few hours longer than in the winter. I lived a block away from the library.
I walked the same way that Chris rode his bike home. I would watch him pump uphill into the distance. Rarely did I have any plans for the weekend. (Why didn’t I?) That was the glorious summer that I had the West Church apartment to myself. Rachael would come and go though the summer. I made a few trips to Jersey Shore and Williamsport. On Friday night, I would be on our back porch and listen to our neighbors fight. Eventually I would walk to Avenue, but it wasn’t there was anyone there. The same case can be made for my job now. My prodigal return has been interesting.
The summer stock theatre I worked at this past summer emailed me this morning, covertly asking if I would return. I haven’t replied yet, more in avoiding confrontation than actual consideration. (3 weeks of children’s camp? Get real.) Still, there is some lingering appeal in returning to Pennsylvania for another summer of flash thunderstorms, green hills, cheap movie tickets, live theatre, and coffee ice cream from Avenue 209.
I look forward to driving with my windows down though, wherever I am, and the summer reading program, forever and always.