Slow, thoughtful music is always the best to write to. Oh shit, a Christmas tune just came on. Jesus, that's not what I'm talking about. Mellow music. This will definitely do (as in The Postal Service).

Summer is isolation. It's reliance on a computer for grasping onto something intangible. Sort of pointless, if you ask me, but that's where I'm a hypocrite sometimes. Summer is eating popsicles for something to do, and then sitting at a desk taken over by an ant empire with the faint stench of rat litter invading your nostrils. But you've sort of gotten used to the smell, so much so that you couldn't smell it if you tried. Which you don't. Summer is listening to the same song 27 times a day. It might be because you want to memorize the lyrics, or it might just be because you want to cheat it up to number one on the 25 most played songs in iTunes so it'll nudge your favourite guilty pleasure pop song down the list. Maybe for both reasons. Bragging rights, you know. "I know the lyrics to this cool indie song by some ghey band you've never heard of! Suck my dick." "You don't have one; you're a girl. Or...are you?" "You didn't get it. Suck my dick." Summer is making up conversations in your head because you have nobody particularly witty or sarcastic to talk to.

Summer is definitely not Green Day. I've sort of grown a tumor of hatred for them. Deep down, I still like them, but their radio hits have made me reluctant and a little hostile. Same with bands like Relient K.

Summer is looking back on the disguised Christian pop bands you used to listen to with contempt and then digging up the CDs from the bottom of your hip PB Teen desk drawer (the desk that matches your walls, sort of?) and listening to it (and singing along loudly) just for a little stroll down Memory Lane. And summer is also blushing when you realize the window is open and (at 9:39 at night) someone is out in front of your house in the street dribbling a basketball. You wouldn't be blushing if it was, say, Wolf Parade or The Boy Least Likely To (okay, maybe The Boy Least Likely To, but only because their songs are so cute); you are blushing because you're not supposed to know or like those songs. You secretly do. The music you listen to as a kid and as a teenager is a part of you that never really dies. And I'd only know this because of drastic changes over the past few years in my own taste.

Summer is laughing at fart jokes and fat jokes and your mom jokes and your face jokes even though they're really lame and overdone. They're dead. Summer is buying a pack of candy cigs (which they now refer to as candy "sticks," which ruins the purpose and kills all the fun) and pretending you're smoking. You have to believe it though. And summer is also temporarily forgetting that smoking is bad for you in reality; candy cigarettes are the symbol of cool and of adulthood. Summer is also getting a root beer at the tavern that happens to come in a beer bottle and having college kids think your mom's awesome for letting you drink real beer. They don't see that the bottle says "root beer." You can keep a secret. It's fun to trick the drunk college kids, even if you might become one in less than half a decade.

Summer is watching the "I Love the 70s" marathon on VH1. Look, it's Burt Reynolds' mustache! That was Burt Reynolds' mustache! Look who has a Farrah 'do! Summer is making your mom admit that she used to try and do a Farrah 'do, but since her hair was as wavy and untamed as the ocean, it would always rebelliously flip inward. Oh the irony. If only I lived in the 70s...my hair is naturally inclined to go out and do that Farrah flipshit.

Summer is trying to swim in the ocean and not think about that time you almost drowned. Summer is ignoring bikini bodies and being perfectly fine with your anti-bikini body as long as it's not in a bikini. Summer is boogieboarding when you don't really know how to; you're just riding the waves and clinging onto your bathing suit bottom for dear life. Summer is being equally ashamed and proud that you're finally tan. Summer is realizing that you're more like someone than you thought and that you're less like the same person than you thought at the same time. Strange thing is that you both have the same exact makeup, and you don't normally compare that sort of stuff when buying. You also have the same makeup bag, which would be borderline creepy if you weren't related and didn't both get it from the mutual grandmother. Funny how things work out that way.

Summer was watching "Diff'rent Strokes" till 2 am last summer. It only lasted until 2 am because a creepy episode came on about a bank robbery and neither of you wanted to keep watching. It's not like either of you are banks or likely to visit a bank soon; just crime somehow irks the both of you. You're both mischeivous villains though, deep down.

Summer was sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor of the den, which is now your room. Your sleeping bag was a Barbie one and hers was a Power Rangers one, and you'd watch Nick Nite until the wee hours of the morning which was then only about 12 or 1. And you'd watch "The Brady Bunch" avidly and pretend you were Marcia and she was Jan and the little one was Cindy and pick favourites and dream about the next episode. You could've found out what the next one was about easily, though, seeing as they were all decades old, but the suspense was worth it. Summer was drunken laughing not from drink but from tiredness and from excitement at this sleepover in a different room. Because you both shared a room. It was just moved for the purpose of Friday night.

Summer was, in the darker days, depression and the stench of death and immobility and itching to get out. It was tears and blood and paint. It was Avril Lavigne. It wasn't cringing to Avril Lavigne, though; it was relating, and out of ignorance, mostly. Summer was keeping a journal that your mom would find the next summer and kindly ask you to rip up. Go ahead. Just rip your memories and hard labour and your feelings up. No big deal.

Summer was also Fall Out Boy and Motion City Soundtrack and secretly listening to these two less mainstream bands and loving the fuck out of them and then eventually realizing that everyone liked "A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More 'Touch Me.'" And "Everything Is Alright." So you had to find a new hobby and a new band and you didn't know what to do because the lyrics were so original and quirky.

Summer is missing your friends and your family when they're right here. Because you've pushed yourself away and you don't know how to row back to them. Summer is realization that you're closer to more people than you'd ever hope; it's painful hours of reflection where you realize who you are and who your true friends are and what you're going to do with your life. Summer is control and loss of it at the same time. Summer is haircuts and lack of kisses and cats and lies. Always has been. Oh, and summer is enhanced with mulberry extract. And sunscreen. But that's a given.