Summer isn’t going to last forever. In fact, it’s already coming to an end the same way it always does. My feet propped up on the railing of my balcony, a Blue Moon sweating in one hand, my heart choking on the same regrets and melancholy as last year and all of those other years. There is a list of summer activities I haven’t made time for yet. There are things I’ve wanted to do for several summers running and, yet again, I didn’t do them.
One of the things I promise myself every year is that I’ll use my balcony more. Few city folks have the luxury. Fewer still have the cute, yellow vintage patio set I managed to snag. I’m living in the lap of luxury and I’m inside, AC blasting, on Facebook. What is wrong with me?
No grill, no problem
My first excuse is that I don’t have a grill. My condo board outlawed them due to apparent “fire hazards” or some other inconsequential thing — whatever, I stopped listening as soon as my dreams were dashed. Of course, I didn’t own a grill to begin with, probably would not have taken the initiative to purchase one, but I digress.
My second excuse is more legitimate. As a GrubHub Customer Service Rep, I most often work until 1 a.m. to ensure that all of you late night diners get your food. But don’t feel bad; I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m just saying, if I had a grill, firing it up and inviting friends over for a cookout beginning at 2 a.m. probably isn’t going to go over very well with anyone. And, my nights off are weekdays, days when normal, non-vampires have things to do, like yoga class or kid-raising.
But that aforementioned realization that summer was not infinite compelled me to action. Thankfully, the man in my life also works strange hours, and we often find ourselves pre-heating the stove around 2 a.m., eating around 2:30 or 3, and starting a movie anytime between 3 and 4. Think about a normal person’s 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. and you have our 2 a.m. -5 a.m.. We’re creepy and we’re irregular and we’re mostly alright with it.
So last night we decided that, service industry schedules and fire codes be damned, we were going to enjoy our tiny slice of outdoor Chicago, and that GrubHub was going to help us out. Where were we going to get food at 2 a.m.? Aha! I happen to traffic in that answer! So we logged in, scoped it out, and decided on the old stand-by: pizza. Well, and an antipasto salad for two, to elevate the occasion a bit from our usual eating-pizza-on-the-couch routine.
There. If I can do it, so can you. I have everything stacked against me. I work when normal people socialize; I eat when sidewalk cafes are shuttered for the evening. But by typing in my address, lighting a citronella candle and plugging in some Christmas lights, I managed to capture one of these fleeting summer nights for myself. Check out the restaurants delivering to you, wipe the bird doodie off those chairs, and open a beer. Set your iPod up and pretend you just have the world’s most inattentive waiter.