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Summer Nights\\Summer Dreams

A classic car in the streets of Boston's North End

It was sticky. The air around me was so wet that couldn't even tell if I was sweating or not. I cruised through the streets on a calm Sunday night in Boston. There were plenty of people out. But it wasn't rowdy. Many were eating a dinner in parking spots turned outdoor bistros—a holdover solution from restaurants trying to survive during the pandemic. I hope it stays that way.

I wasn't really sure why I was biking around in the afterglow of a prematurely hot summer day. I spent the weekend half-drunk in the revelry blossoming out of the end of a year-plus lockdown. Friday night at Fenway is tough to beat. And Saturday eating and drinking my way around Portland, Maine with some friends and their newborn. Cool parents. I was dehydrated and a little hungover when I got home. But I still decided it was necessary to venture out on my bike. I don't like the feeling of being trapped in a dark bedroom, waiting for another Monday. Especially not when the weather is warm and the days are long.

I've always been a big Bruce Springsteen fan. The towns we're from in Massachusetts and New Jersey are not that different. Summers on the Cape or by the shore. Fleeting moments of satisfaction among an everlasting lust for freedom and escape. We all felt trapped during the pandemic, but I've felt that way for a while and that's part of why I identify with a man who wrote Born to Run. How can I be living comfortably in a good part of the part of the world, around everyone I've ever known, but feel unnecessarily latched to a hometown suburb with a history that barely exists. In its nearest big city that I'm bored of. Among personality types I don't want to connect with.

There's a fear that the grass isn't always greener. But for a truly wild and adventurous soul, I surely haven't satisfied that itch by living anywhere else. I've traveled a lot, but a week or two spent as a tourist in some place doesn't net the same experience of living there, navigating a new social landscape and giving your life a refresh.

Expenses are inflated, rent is too high everywhere you'd want to live, and it just plain costs a lot to move yourself. I haven't been able to make it work yet, and I'm anxious that it's getting too late. But I keep dreaming of getting out of here. Summer nights turn into summer dreams, but what are dreams if unrealized? I feel like my aimless wandering is a sign. After mapping it online, I've biked 32 miles over the past two days, and I don't even get sore or tired. My restlessness won't quit no matter how hard I try to kill it.

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(c) 2024 Nick Gianetti

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