Child Labor Laws

The florid sultriness of August is passing, leaving in its wake a roll of unconsummated passions.

Maybe jazz will save me.

My childish fantasies end tonight. The object of my gushing daydreams, indeed, childish. Probably not even the Age of Consent. However, I think it was the safety of an unthreatening subject that made me choose a virginal convenience store cashier as my prospective playmate. Pack of smokes, Diet Coke, weighted stare. His real playmates stood tonight along the subway exhaust of the Davis Sq. subway, backpacks laden with chemistry books, spitting and cursing, rocking on skateboards, chain-smoking cloves and waiting for him to get off work so they could drive around Medford smashing mailboxes.


Maybe my recent fling, frigid and wrinkled, has thrown me into a frantic search for willing teenagers as a remedy to my impending adulthood.

In any case I allowed myself to run with the idea. I imagined it — the first kiss, endearingly nervous, standing on my toes to reach his lips. Awkward and eager, smiles and blushing. The burning stomach crush. His finger looped through my chain link necklace. My finger looped through his 42″ cinched-waist skate cutoffs. Then walking through the humid night along the Minuteman Trail sharing a Newport.

The carefree feeling of not knowing what lies ahead — not caring, not thinking about Forever — or even, for that matter, next week.

I am, no doubt, a hopeless romantic.

Hopeless because there is no way in the world a relationship of such proportions would last happily for long; cursing friends and curfews would sooner or later trample the ecstasy.

“A bird may love a fish, but where would they build a home?”

Maybe I don’t want to build a home right now. Maybe I just want to be young and enjoy lying on my back in the August night with a blond boy who doesn’t care that I have a bachelor’s degree and a 401K.

Isn’t that alright?

And now the heady heat of summer wanes. September always feels to me like something besides a season is drawing to a close. In a way it’s the same feeling you get at the end of the night, when the Last Call Bell is rung at closing time, and you haven’t gotten the phone number yet — you haven’t asked for that dance.

A little bit pressed for time and gutsier because of it.