Creative Writing

Unlock Your Summertime Persona

Summertime in Seattle changes you. When that first sustained dose of sunlight streams down on the city it’s like the cosmic radiation in a superhero’s origin story. Bathed in the ultraviolet full-body lens flare, you temporarily forget who you are. In that blinding moment, you could be anyone.

So why not go for it this year? Leave behind the hunched, damp, dour Winter You and become someone completely different.

Creating a summertime identity begins with a new wardrobe. Your garb should telegraph vitality and mirth; it should say, “I am living my best life” and also, “I am finally metabolizing vitamin D,” and maybe even, “Follow me to the sex barbecue!” Start with some festive headgear—perhaps a straw boater, a neon bandana or a propeller beanie. Trade in your monochrome urban hiking attire for a billowing silk romper or kicky culottes. Unbutton your shirt down to the navel to reveal some cleavage, or chest hair—or both!

Devise a new persona. You’re no longer the wan depressive grimly marking time until your next ration of espresso; you’re a vivacious creature drinking deeply of the universe’s bounty. Choose a nickname like “Wanderin’ Phil” or “Madame Spanky-pants.” To build self-confidence, master a warm-weather yard sport like croquet, badminton or bocce. Invest in an inflatable kiddie pool, the kind with a built-in palm tree. Get really into smoothies.

Please note: This is not a “beach body” diet plan or a self-help regimen—if anything you’ll probably gain flab. The ultimate goal here is to kindle the cheery hedonist lying dormant within. Winter You did an okay job of paying bills and passing time until the sun came back, but let’s face it: Winter You sucks. No one likes Winter You; Winter You must be unceremoniously dumped in a ditch.

You’ll meet others who have embarked on this voyage of liberation: the guy giving free unicycle lessons in the park, the old lady at the corner store wearing jelly sandals and a shirt that says “Free Mustache Rides.” The mission, should you choose to accept it, is to surround yourself with these kindred spirits, to band together as a loose tribe of uninhibited joy-seekers.

Come August we will all unite, a funky kingdom of sun-drunk mavericks linking up across the city. We’ll kiddie-pool our resources to take care of one another, each according to their partying needs. I’ll bring extra Frisbees and ice for the mojitos. And this time, by god, we’ll make sure summer never ends.