- Brendan McKay
Saturday Night Sesh
Updated: Jun 16, 2021
If nothing more, this post is an ode to those sticky 16-year old summer nights. This was back in a time where you were lucky to have a cellphone, and if you did it was assuredly the size and heft of a two Snickers bars taped together. The coolest of the cool had a RAZR flip phone that took equally as long to do anything on but had sweet flip action. I was amongst those relegated to life with a Virgin Mobile Nokia brick.
This is also a time where whatever phone plan I was on cost 15 cents a text to send AND receive. Which is absolutely mind-blowing to think about - a simple conversation amongst friends to solidify evening plans might've run a few dollars by the time you were done. Which, when you were planning on stretching the $15 in your pocket as far as possible that night, was no small consideration. If you wanted to penny pinch, you'd attempt to plan everything in advance over AOL Instant Messenger, but that meant everyone had to coordinate the exact time they'd be home at in front of their desktop computer, or leave some sort of pithy note in their away message. The upshot to the away message game was that you got to bless the world with your favorite inspirational Creed quote - "Yo if you need me, I'll be chillin' at Steve's WITH ARMS WIDE OPENNNNN".
Yet for all of the perceived and actual inefficiency of planning those evenings together, I'll be damned if I didn't admit that I achingly long for all of that sometimes. Everyone was off the grid because we had no other choice - in fact, it wasn't even a choice. All we thought about was ESPN Sportscenter, girls and cars, in somewhat rotating order. The original Fast and the Furious movie was released the summer right before I got my drivers license, and in my mind, my family's Volvo 240 station wagon was Dom Toretto's '70 Charger R/T. As soon as I had my license in-hand I'd run stop light to stop light in my town after hours in a heady state of bliss, hopped up on Pepsi, BBQ chips and the lingering smell of an overcooked clutch plate. The evening's soundtrack was Blink 182 and a chorus of cicadas on full blast. Life unfortunately does not come with a warning label letting you know just how good those nights were.
The best of those summer evenings were spent in parking lots with friends dreaming about the future and of a time when we all made it. Whips clustered together, headlights casting shadows in the humid night air, the world was full of possibility. The shot above was taken this past weekend but for me it just as well could've been taken in June 2002 (save for that minty 997 in the midground). Summer simplicity in every sense of the word, and for the briefest of moments, everything was perfect.