Monday, July 23, 2007

A Tale of Summer Boredom

Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World" played on the little transistor radio on Marnie's blanket in the yard where she sat out under the tree, painting her toenails and wondering about summer friendships. Marnie always felt that somehow her summers never quite amounted to much. The truth is in this small town, whose did? But that was Marnie's problem, she dreamed of being away from this small town, if only for a week, a month - imagine for a whole summer!

She read books in which children went to camp, learned how to ride horses, solved mysteries, even kissed boys (that she could do in this crummy town, she thought somewhat repulsively). At thirteen, she knew of girls who did just that, they were fast becoming pretty popular. Not Marnie, she was somewhere stuck between tomboy and wanting to feel a bit more girly - not too much though. Toenail polish was as far as she ventured. She found those kind of girls to be just stupid.

Sure her parents took her and her three brothers to their uncle's little cabin near Lake Silverfoot for a long weekend each summer. Once they'd even gone for a whole week! But it just smelled moldy and made Marnie feel a bit sad, even though she had fun playing in the lake with her brothers. She even made a friend or two to play with. Once there was a boy named Claude who she was playing with and remembered saying that her favorite color was brown because his was. That was two summers ago. Oh how her brothers had made fun of her for that one, she still remembered.

She continued to paint her toenails as Jobie peeked through a space between fence planks. She ignored him as she mostly did when she wanted to be alone with her thoughts. "Wanna go bike riding Marnie?"

"Not now Jobie. Maybe later" she answered without looking up, humming along to the radio.

"Roller skate?"

"I'm waiting for the 4:30 Movie to start - it's Gidget week. Maybe after supper." Marnie offered.

Jobie gladly accepted "I'll call for you later Marnie!" and with that ran to go find some of the boys to scare up a game of wiffle ball. He didn't have far to go to succeed.

Another summer of Jobie and bike riding over the bridge passed the commercial waterfront along the river and back. Could be worse, Marnie tried to convince herself unsuccessfully.

She went inside and put on Channel 7 just in time for the music to kick up and Gidget Goes Hawaiian to roll.

"Someday, I'm going to surf there" thought Marnie as she settled into her favorite movie viewing perch with her legs hanging over the overstuffed armchair. Never mind that she had barely tipped her toes in an ocean. Marnie's dreams were already intertwined with the movie.

She smiled inwardly as MoonDoggie and Gidget did the Twist on the beach.


TLP said...

Boredom is underrated.

Besides, if you have nail polish, you can paint your brother's toenails while they sleep. Use something good, like, "I'm not really a waitress Red." OPI makes it.

Anonymous said...

Hey LWTLSOHH ! How have you been? Just flew by to say hello. Boredom is a state of is confusion.

Minka said...

I love boredom every second day, to recover from the tornado of a day before.

G-that would make a wonderful opening chapter for a book. You drew me right in...I hope Marnie gets to ride a few waves and realize that the back garden to your home, will be a worthy destination!

Claire said...

I agree with minka. It feels like Marnie will go on to have an interesting life with that little intro.

Doug The Una said...

This sounds a lot like a vignette from Quilly's life.

That was perfect summertime writing.

G said...

TLP, I couldn't agree more. Although my mother had a hard time convincing me of that as a child. Haha, OPI has the best nail polish color names, bar none.

Swampy! So odd, I was thinking of you yesterday! Although I lost links when my template changed. So nice to see you again.

Minka, see in that case boredom once again shows its value. Hope you're boring your way back to health.

Thanks - I hope so too!

Claire, she seems to be a bit of a free thinker, so there's that.

Doug, well she does like painting toenails.

Thanks, I was in a summertime frame of mind. What a stretch.

Anonymous said...

it was a perfect way to creatively stretch your "summertime frame of mind" -- guessing that trip to the country a couple of weeks ago inspired, even as it relaxed!

don't suppose there's a mystery waiting to unfold in chapter two, is there? i mean, this has "Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Toenail Clippers" written all over it. well... sort of. ; )

WELL DONE, NBFF!! and BRAVO!! *wipes proud tear from eye*

Mo'a said...

Great story :) Boredom is always the most fun...I know...but where has those lazy days of summer gone?
I had one yesterday with no Penguin excuses.
Minka Min get well...Seems you have been burning the candle on both ends and in the middle.

I loved your story G. When is the book coming out? xoxo

Gale said...

I remember those summers, I usually spent alot of time at the local library.

robkroese said...

Your posts always make me smile, G. :)

Sweet and Salty said...

That brought back memories of restless summers and desires of bigger and better things, or at least different things.
Great writing, G!

FirstNations said...

suprise everyone; have her move out and have it actually turn out to be better! not in a mean spirited garrison keillor way, but just to go off in a new direction from where you'd think this beginning would lead.
this is a beginning, right? she sounds like a real girl, well thought out.

Anonymous said...

See if I don't blog and don't read blogs, I miss gems like this :)

I too think that it would make a great opening chapter for a book, but I don't recommend doing one--but you're so polished

I always want to recreate the boring wonderful days of summer as a kid.
Though we would go to sleep away camp, it somehow always began two-three days after my birthday so we had three or four wonderful boring weeks

Diesel said I could just link since I'm off blogging

Shari said...

Hey, I agree. It's a great start for a book. You're a natural. You should complete it and try to get it published. I liked it. I wanted to see what happened next. :)

G said...

Neva, could we work on the title - just a bit? Heehee. Aww shucks NBFF XOX

I know - where have those lazy days gone? Thanks Mo'a, I am blushing at the thought.

Gale, me too! I remember how cool it felt in there. When you weren't playing Clue, I'm sure.

Diesel, so do your comments - thanks.

Pavel, thanks so much my friend. Always craving something...

fn: not that I ever deign to continue any of these little starts, but damn woman if I didn't imagine ahead just a little. And damn if it didn't sound strangely like what you just portrayed.

Pia, and I'd really miss your visits :) You know, I never really think that far ahead but I am eagerly awaiting yours.

Yes those most dreaded most wonderful boring days of summer.

Shari, thanks. I like to start stories. Now let's see if I can ever continue one.

Your words are so inspiring.

Ariel the Thief said...

G, you just know how to do it. that story made me feel sad and good at the same time. there used to be times when summers seemed to be so long.

Anonymous said...

Very nice sketch.
Do you know the Anastasia books by Lois Lowry? This reminded me of them. They were Mall Diva's favorites when she was Tali's age.

tsduff said...

Well, did you ever make it to surf on the beach?

Just reading that makes me long for the simple dog days of summer in that yesterday when "Joy to the World" was my favorite song playing on the radio, and I rode the bus to school 15 miles away...

I grew up right near where they filmed Gidget- I found better, more secluded beaches to play at :-)... of course I wasn't into actually dancing on the beach with surfboarders and the MoonDoggie at my tender age of 14...

G said...

You know I so love every comment and hate when I don't get back to respond, so better late than never.

Ariel, thanks so much for your beautiful comment. Life is bittersweet, after all - isn't it?

Thanks so much Weirsdo. Tali has read some of her other books, including Number the Stars, so I'm recommending the Anastasia series to her as well. Thanks.

Terry, in my dreams :)

Your childhood sounds dreamy - what a wonderful place to grow up. No wonder you have such an appreciation of nature. You had better things to do than dance on the beach with Moondoggie - you were busy exploring!