In An Everlasting Kiss It's 1999, and I'm spending the summer in one of the more hopeful Bruce Springsteen songs. "Thunder Road," maybe, rather than "The River," say. "A screen door slams..." rather than "Man, that was all she wrote..."
Everything is opening-doors rather than settling-for for me, and for the first summer of my life, I am well and truly alive--driving my car to the factory, classic rock blaring on the radio. I don't have parents giving me shit, I'm working $8 an hour and paying $100 a month in rent.
I have more money that I've ever seen, and the first love of my life to spend it all on. Life is good and hopeful, one last chance to make it real, and so what if I spend my days with pneumatic tools assmbling wheelchair lifts on buses--it's my Springsteen fieldtrip and soon I'll return to the single life, devoting my time to parsing postmodernism rather than making sure the differently-abled don't tumble out of city buses.
Some people spend their lives stuck in that--they don't get to go back to QWERTY or poring over cracked-spine texts at 4am. I suppose as an intellectural I'm supposed to look down on those with no escape--pity them for missing out on the life of the mind or someshit.
But looking back, my summer in a Springsteen song was one of the best times of my life. I remember hearing Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" repeatedly over those months, and everytime it came up, I mistook the title line for "the poison summer." But it wasn't poisonous. It wasn't a deathtrap. It wasn't a suicide rap. It was glorious living, and together, we could break this trap, cause tramps like us, baby, baby we were born to run.