The Summer Fight
Monday 7 August 2000

Every year it's the same, this fight. It's a cyclical thing. Regular. Seasonal as Japanese tourists outside Burberry's, city twats braying at each other over warm pints by Blackfriars Station, new freckles, daddy-longlegses, and mosquitos smeared on walls.

Summer Jake

...sits in full sun, notebook at his side. Closes eyes and tips his head back, clasps arms behind head. The undersides of his arms are taut, whiter than the rest of him which is golden like toast. He never sunbathes. His grandad was Indian so his skin just sucks the tanning-stuff from the air. His jeans are sliding down his skinny hips, the hems raggedy from scraping along London streets trapped under his Birkenstocks. His 'LIFE IS UNCERTAIN, EAT DESSERT FIRST' t-shirt is lying on the ground beside him. He smiles and exhales slowly. No tension. Small of back pressed flat to the concrete. The sun is turning his eyelashes golden.

Summer Amp getting ready to go out. Is looking in mirror which is perched askew on the radiator. Is lifting one leg to try and fit all of her in mirror. trying to see if those boots go with that dress. And tights. And coat. And scarf, goddamit, she's even got a filmy red scarf tied round her neck and it's EIGHTY DEGREES OUTSIDE and 'what are you doing Amp' says Jake coming in from the garden. 'What are you doing why are you wearing THERMAL FUR-LINED GRANNY BOOTS IN AUGUST AMP?' 'Because they go with this outfit' she says in tones of one talking to an idiot child. Jake strides to the front door and flings it open and sunlight floods the room. Outside a girl is slinking by in a denim skirt, bikini top and flip-flops.
'It's summer. Get used to it.' he says. She stamps fur-lined granny-booted foot.
'I hate fucking summer! It makes me look shit! It's uncivilised! '
He slams the door. 'Don't say that, don't fucking SAY that AMP!'
'...It's disgusting, it makes men beep their car horns at girls, it's too hot, it's like animals trapped in a zoo pen fucking out of boredom....'
He storms into the bedroom, comes back with polka-spotted sundress three sizes too small. Flings it at her feet. 'Wear that! and don't say 'I fucking hate summer' any more! You know what happens if you do!'

Autumn. that's what happens if I do. I've only got to say it about 23 more times now, and autumn will start, and Jake will hold me personally responsible. 23 more times and then the smell of autumn will creep into the air, the smell of gym clothes left in the bag too long. (Very smart gym clothes, mind, worn by a very clean and proper woman who uses strong soap and a petigrain and vevetier perfume; but a scent of sweetness and corruption nonetheless). Bring it on, I say, and if it takes an incantation, then that's what we'll do. After three now: 'I fucking HATE summer, I fucking HATE summer, I FUCKING hate summer, I fucking hate SUMMER, I...' oww oww oww my bloody boyfriend is hitting me


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