My teenage neighbor blasts the radio as he washes his car. It’s a weekly event, and our house reverberates with the bass. He usually plays some rap-like contemporary stuff, and I’m just as happy to feel the pound of the music but not catch the lyrics. But not today. No rap today.
I can’t help but smile as the familiar words fire synapses in my brain: Everybody’s gone surfin’/Surfin’ USA … All over La Jolla/At Wa’imea Bay. I’ve been to the beaches, watched surfers at Wa’imea Bay. But not when I was his age, not when I first heard the Beach Boys. Not when Hedy and I rocked in the top of the bleachers at Jadwin Gym. Not when my reference point was the Jersey Shore, and later Ocean City MD. Not when the boys I dated wore their hair below the collar. Not when newspaper clippings taped to my wall announced the end of the war, when my music was James and Joni and the Who, when my mailbox held college acceptance letters addressed to me.
Today I’m sitting in the sun on the porch at the Louisville condo, watching the world go by, listening to the Beach Boys, watching a boy wash a car while Dory plays with a twig.
Today is a summer day in May.
Today I am 15. Today I am 50. Time is a circle without end.