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2001-08-15 - 11:31 a.m.

On suntans, sweaters and cover letters

It is a perfect day.

It must be in the mid-70s with the sun shining and a light breeze making everything feel cool and comfortable. I drove to the barber shop with my windows open and it felt like one of those cool summer days, the kind where you can sit in the sun and feel perfectly warm and not uncomfortable, but then you move to the shade and a shiver comes over you -- and not because of the sweat cooling on your skin. The kind where if you had to wear pants or even a shirt and tie, you wouldn't feel all that uncomfortable in it, but it's still better not to have to wear that and be able to walk around in khaki shorts and a t-shirt.

I should've taken a drive today. I should've gone somewhere down the Shore, to Ocean Grove or Seaside or Island Beach State Park. I should've gotten the bike out of the shed and ridden out to Sandy Hook or Sea Bright, or put it in the car and headed off to one of any number of parks. I should've gone down to Barnegat Light or somewhere I've never been, this being such a perfect day for driving. Or walking on the beach. Or lying on the beach, working on that nonexistent tan, extending it past the ends of my shirt sleeves. This is the story of every summer for me: August comes around and I look at my pale-ass self in the shower and think, "I've got to get some color before the summer ends," and I get myself to the beach a few times and hope it makes a difference, but usually I just get red, then peel, and it's September.

But -- alas -- I must stay in and motivate myself. I must polish off the resume and get crackin' on those dreaded cover letters. I'm scared of cover letters. I never think they're good enough and then I end up settling for something and just shipping them off. I haven't written a cover letter since my senior year, a long three years ago and getting longer by the day. But I have good reasons to be excited about this, about closing one chapter in my life and opening another. I'm not sure if it's the fear of rejection or the nostalgia of what's coming to a close that's making me hesitate. Because I know what I want. I know that I want to move to Edgewater and work in New York and wear sweaters on cool autumn days among the leaves. I want to make the streets safe for night walks home and wake up to the amazing stillness of the City on Sunday mornings. I want this.

I just need to go get it.

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