It was a hot summer in ’88,
yet he held me close under the stars.
When our lips first met and parted,
I could have floated away on the milky way.
The sounds of cicadas and crickets
wrapped around us as his arms enfolded me
in an innocent lover’s embrace.
New sensations of warmth I had never before
experienced pulsed through my oh so young body.
He was the heartthrob of the camp that year.
He was a tall, cuter version of Tom Cruise –
before Cruise’s mental status became a question mark.
He wanted to join the Navy when he turned 18.
And with his looks, it seemed fitting…
Top Gun references abounded that week.
For the next few nights, I waited for him as
he poured buckets of water over the camp’s fire.
As the steam hissed at the death of the flames, my
excitement would mount, looking up at the
starlight through the silhouetted trees.
His kisses all worth waiting to receive.
We wrote letters back and forth for probably a year.
I’m unsure of his final fate regarding the Navy.
Ironic, him being from the country and myself
hailing from a Navy “town,” the big city in those parts.
I was probably exotic for him, without a southern drawl.
He taught me many things that week at camp,
including to learn to love playing Volleyball.
Now my memories of our short and sweet time together
teach me of the sweet innocence that my heart still holds,
at a time when my heart feels frozen in stone…
Today, I began a walk down memory lane. Initially the memories were of my grandfather’s tobacco farm and the summers I spent there. Then slowly I began to have memories of this young man and my first kiss(es). Seems I had buried these milky way memories deeply. Now they call for me to remember that lighthearted, trusting and innocent part of myself…oh how much I miss summer love. Here’s to the big thaw!
In researching music from this time frame, I found that this song topped the charts that summer. The song is too fitting to not use….please forgive me music gods!