>>> Three Beers Deep
By staff writer Chris Phelan

March 21, 2007

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer.”
-Albert Camus

I don't think it's ever been this cold before. Everything's cold. The wind, the grass, the buildings. The sidewalks are a consistent sheet of ice—it's pretty treacherous. To be honest, it's a crapshoot every morning walking to class whether I make it back to my room alive. As I walk, I watch other people walk by; they all have the same thing in common. Quick, short steps with their head down, trying to avoid the cold. I'm going to be honest, I'm no better than them. I walk with my head down too, but only because my eyes tear up when the wind hits me in the face and the last thing a 20-year-old wants to do is waltz into class looking like he just got out of a fight—and lost.

But that's just what winter does to you. It makes you put your head down and walk quickly to your destination… and you try your best to survive it. But you never do.

Why is everything so much harder in the winter? Everything takes longer, yet everything seems to move at a snail's pace. Summer flies by—gone in an instant. It's pretty crazy when you think about it. Not winter though. Winter takes its time. Wonderful.

Hey, maybe it's our fault, you know? Because admit it, deep down inside, you can't wait for the first snow of the season. There's just something about it. The beauty, the calmness. You get excited… we all get excited, no reason to beat around the bush about it. I mean, have you ever stopped and actually looked at a snowflake? Bet you haven't. And you're missing out. It’s the simplest things in life that give you the greatest pleasure.

“There's a reason why nothing else matters except that moment, where you are, and who you're sharing that moment with.”

But everybody's exactly the same. We all wait in anticipation for that first snowfall… and then we curse it once it comes. Because—let's be honest—winter sucks. And everything that comes along with it, too.

The invincible summer. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? If I ever become a rock and roll star, that's going to be the name of my first album.

The invincible summer. I think the warm weather changes us. More than we think it does. Summer is like a beautiful girl. You can't be at your lowest point during summer. Think about it… If your car breaks down in the middle of the night, fuck it—you laugh and be thankful it's not winter and freezing out. If it rains, fuck it—you run in that rain. You run wherever you have to go, and you laugh to yourself as you finally make it home, soaking wet, leaving wet footprints all over your carpet. If you get your heart broken, fuck it—you sit back in your beach chair and let the sun heal the pain.

The invincible summer. We're all at our very best during the summer, whether it’s falling in love, breaking hearts, living our dreams, or throwing a monkey wrench into the whole damn system. Living life like it should be, beauty marks and all. But the details don't really matter when you look at the big picture. The summer exposes us. Whether it exposes us as good or bad… we know who we really are in the summer. Most people are good and happy, though. Don't ask me why people are happier in the summer, they just are. That's just what the sun does to you. You don't ask why, you just accept it and you're a happier person because of it. See how it works? Ignorance is bliss.

The invincible summer. Chalk it up to not having any real responsibility. Although some of us may have jobs, those jobs are merely the means to the goal of having money to squeeze the very best out of summer.

The invincible summer. Don't you get it?

Think about it.

There's a reason why we smile more in the summer. There's a reason why we don't keep our heads down when we walk.

There's a reason why we walk down the boardwalk at night, and always keep our eyes open for the guy or girl of our dreams that could be walking down that-very-same-boardwalk.

There's a reason why we go to the beach. Why we destroy our bodies getting as tan as possible. Why we stay outside in a parking lot talking about nothing at all for hours on end.

There's a reason why nothing else matters during the summer. A reason why nothing else matters except that moment, where you are, and who you're sharing that moment with.

There's a reason why every year we think, “This summer will be the best summer ever.”

And there's a reason why we never want it to end.

But I don't know what this reason is. It's not something tangible, it's not something you can explain… but that's what summer is all about. Summer is living. Summer is taking a ride with no particular destination, following the sun at noon, confident it’s better than turning back.

The invincible summer. That's what this summer will be. Whatever happens, whatever paths we go down, whatever adventures we take—it will be the result our collective frustration with this winter that just won't go away.

Here's to making this the best summer ever.