The Summer Hater
Ken L. Jones
He was old immeasurably old--so old that the people had long ago stopped speculating about when he had been born or even where.
The only time people saw him was in the winter and before that was over they sometimes hated the very sight of him and would pray for the coming of Easter bunnies and spring and all the seed’s resurrections and rebirths, if only because they knew he would cringe at the very sight of it for months at a time and would hide from them and leave them be for a while.
They were right. He hated all that but even more so despised the very depths of summer.
Everything about the season made his stomach twitch and roil and caused his very slanty stooping body to seem as if it was melting and dripping all the time. The intensity of this time of the year always made his eyes water and swell. But much more than what it actually did to him, he was driven crazy by what it did to the world outside of his windows.
Now he more than approved of how these very same folks acted in the winter. How jolly and mellow and toasty they were all wrapped up in layers of warm coats and scarves and woolen hats as they indulged in ice skating and sledding and snowball fights and the building of happy Frosty clones out of hardened rain and coal and buttons and clothes much too ratty to give even anonymously to the most liberal of charities.
Now of course all this wonderment reached a crescendo when the Christmas season would come and most people acted a lot better than even they realized that they did as they were tranquilized by all the peace on earth and goodwill towards men that seemed to fall on every balleting snowflake then.
Yes, that season of carols and wrapped presents and fantastic meals and decorations everywhere and trees that blinked and stunned and made you weep with nostalgia at the very sight of them was when he most truly felt alive and glad to be so each and every year. Then, as that best time ever passed and the New Year rang in, and the cold intensified even more, he found that he still loved all the peace and solitude that it inspired in most people as they gladly stayed indoors and watched their favorite shows on TV and surfed the net and even read the occasional book that wasn’t an assigned text as they mellowed out with hot chocolate in front of large roaring fires waiting for the long nights to become short and luxuriating in all that for the vast majority of it.
He had no idea why all of them prized summer so because he never had.
What was so great about daylight hours that took up most of the twenty-four span? The oppressive pounding heat and every brat in creation being out and about and up to no good on bikes and razor scooters and skates and even stilts while most of the rest of the adult population was way too busy just trying to put food on the table to regulate them or even have the slightest idea whose windows they were smashing or whose mail they were stealing out of whose postal box.
Even the sports and amusements of that hated season seemed idiotic and puerile to him. Little League games with beer bellied screaming fathers trying to outshout some amateur umpire? Ugh! Banjo plunkers and off key junior high school orchestras playing versions of The Stars And Stripes Forever which just as easily could be Three Blind Mice in some paint chipping public park gazebo? Why it was enough to make one’s ears bleed! And how about all those smelly fly ridden backyard barbeques filling the air with the rank pollution of cheap pork drippings and choking smoke? It was enough to take any person with intact taste buds appetite away.
Even the crown jewel of all this nonsense --he remembrance of America’s independence--was all booming fireworks which were hardly safe or sane and which routinely blew off young fingers and hands and generally set more fires than even that vaunted fellow the Emperor Nero once did. And of course all this made one wonder exactly how this was patriotic and honored the founding fathers and all that they worked so hard to achieve?
Yes, the old man concluded when any unbiased person weighed the pros and cons of both winter and non-winter time--as he had so often in his long and clockwork like life--that the scales would always tip in the favor of all that he most truly advocated and stood up for but all of that was becoming more than silly to be overly concerned about now that all of this summer horse pucky was on the wane and he grinned crookedly and tooth gapped at the very fact that it was.
The Fourth of July was all greasy and cold backyard grills, empty beer cans and blackened husks of gutted bottle rockets now. Every big box store and small shop in every town was now suddenly full of backpacks and school uniforms and pen and pencil and eraser sets and boxes of individual fruit juice containers with built in straws and tiny cheese and crackers sets just the right size to be browned bagged or put into whatever the latest fad was that was themed on a plastic lunch pail and thermos.
Halloween and after that Thanksgiving were now drifting back into people’s consciousness and they wafted there delightfully and lingered long when they did so crowding out and pushing out all thoughts of this summer ridiculousness for yet another year and just the very fact that it was was all of the proof that anyone might need to understand that soon the old man was going to have everything his way own very particular way.
He was overjoyed and literally tingled at the very thought of it all and he looked forward to coming out once again to walk amongst men and to enjoy with them all that he had long and forever been about. He was ecstatically happy about all this and more excited than any child ever was on Christmas morning.
All of this was like a tonic to him after the long blazing doldrums days just passed. Why, he grinned wider than any craved pumpkin you have ever seen at just the very thought of it all and because he was so tickled and so joyful he decided to spread his happiness and to share it with the whole world by coming to visit them early this year.
Thus did Jack Frost, sometimes known as Old Man Winter, come down out of his most secret mansion atop the highest hill that you have never heard of and snow was on the ground in early September and in many places that you might not suspect that it should be and few crabbed or carped about it and even if they did Old Jack had way too many icicles in his ears to care about these complaints anyhow.
From your Blog Master: As you can see, Ken spins a great yarn and is an excellect fiction writer, but poetry is his first love. Check out his poetry page, which currently contains more holiday material here: http://georgewilhite.blogspot.com/p/poetry-by-ken-l-jones.html