There isn’t a turning of a season quite like that between summer and autumn.
You won’t find plaintive songs of regret about the day May passes and June inevitably arrives, or the time autumn finally becomes winter on a shitty day of icy rain in late November. But the dog days of August? They were built for coming-of-age tales of heartbreak. Late this summer I went for a few beers with a pal – let’s call him Argyle for the purposes of this post – and we ended up dissecting Don Henley’s Boys of Summer. Yeah I know, what a sad life I live, blah blah.
Anyway we spent twenty minutes turning over the lines, ‘nobody on the road, nobody on the beach’ and ‘empty lake, empty streets, the sun goes down alone.’ Nothing particularly striking about the language there, but I felt the repetition implied a journey, undertaken in a state of growing dread, probably on a BMX.
Each location, visited briefly and frantically, yields nothing. Our narrator’s a local lad and the girl he wants to see – the one who’s both made and destroyed him – is a holiday-maker who’s returned home.
Grief, regret, desperation, loss… is there a headier brew?