I shut my eyes and tried to sleep, but couldn’t. The bright sky outside made it impossible.
I have no idea what year it was; looking back in light of my wife’s recent post about Daylight Savings Time, it may have come during the period when Nixon made it permanent for fifteen months. I can’t be sure and my memory’s unreliable about such things.
The strong light splashed through my window while the sun dripped onto the horizon. I don’t remember whether I seethed about it or if I just sighed and tried to hide my eyes behind the blankets or pillow. I remember thinking, This is ridiculous. How am I supposed to sleep when the sun’s still out?
I heard other kids playing outside. They had later curfews, later bedtimes. No such luck for me; for better or worse, I laid in bed and wondered why I couldn’t be like them. Why can’t I go to bed when it’s dark and easier to sleep? My fixed bedtime meant fighting my biological clock and trying to rest during the remaining hours of daylight.
It’s an early memory. I can sort of see the curtains through which the westerly setting sun pierced. They weren’t black-out curtains and little could be done to stave off the sunset. The orange-gold rays slashed into the eggshell walls of the 1970s décor and shattered around the room, chasing shadows into closets and under furniture.
I remember the passage of time. How much, I can’t recall. Eventually the sun sank low enough so darkness came, and overtook the room, and me, in short order. But I still remember the summer when the sun wouldn’t go down, when bedtime came while light and play clung to the outside world. I don’t remember much, but I do remember thinking about how it always seemed that way; like the sun didn’t ever go down.
We never lived north of the Arctic Circle where this may have been normal. We lived in Northern California, where days aren’t any longer or shorter than anywhere else in America. But that summer, the sun wouldn’t set, wouldn’t let me sleep. That summer, the sun mocked and taunted with the teasing daylight and the sound of children’s laughter and play outside my drawn-curtain window, drifting from the cul-de-sac behind our house.
All original content © 2010 J. Dane Tyler
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4 thoughts on “The Summer of Eternal Sunshine”
I really like the descriptions in this piece. Particularly these: The strong light splashed through my window while the sun dripped onto the horizon.
The orange-gold rays slashed into the eggshell walls of the 1970s décor and shattered around the room, chasing shadows into closets and under furniture.
Thanks, Vanessa! How nice to see you again! I’m glad you enjoyed the piece; just a little exercise to keep the writer muscles moving. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read and comment. 🙂
Hey, nice to see you again…I guess both of us are not around on our blogs and so have lost touch…
I know it’s tough, Damyanti. I’m trying to be more consistent on my personal blog but this one has definitely fallen into disuse…unfortunately. 😦 Nice to see you as always, though! Hope you’re doing well!
Very good descriptions my friend.
Hope to see your work more often again!
Thanks Al. I hope to be writing again. 🙂 Appreciate the encouragement.
You’re really good at describing scenes. It was very lively in my imagination.
Well, thank you very much, Diandra! I appreciate your kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Please feel free to come back. 🙂