Summer officially ends in less than a week. Many changes come with the transition to autumn, among them cooler weather and an ever earlier setting sun.
One staple of adolescent summers is visiting the lake. As a teenager, I never went to the lake with the alarming frequency of some of my peers, but the few times I went were all memorable. One lake visit stands out in particular, for reasons that will become apparent.
The summer before I entered high school I journeyed to a lake for a weekend retreat with a church youth group. With plans to tube, sail, and in all other ways have an outstanding time, I anxiously awaited the trip. When the morning finally arrived for the voyage to begin, my excitement was barely containable. Something was going to happen that weekend, I could just tell.
Upon our arrival at the lake, we quickly scoped out the surrounding area. Our accommodations were nice and the weather was gorgeous. I felt an inner longing to be on the water, as if Poseidon himself was beckoning me.
The first day of the retreat came and went. I rode on a motorboat and was ferociously slung about on an inner-tube. Fulfilled after a full day of aquatic activities, I remember gazing out at the lake that night. The moon’s ghostly reflection illuminated the tranquil surface.
The following morning, Mike, an older high school student I greatly admired, invited me on a sailing expedition.
“You wanna come sailing today? I’m going to destroy that buoy in the lake,” Mike declared.
“Absolutely!” I responded, shocked at my good fortune.
Mike and I recruited a few other crew members for our voyage, and I remember him assigning us Moby Dick characters in a Reservoir Dogs-esque moment.
Sam, a snarky freshman who idolized Mike even more than I did, was rookie whaler Ishmael. I was deemed Queequeg, the savage cannibal known for his harpoon skills. I was naturally very pleased with my adopted persona. A girl named Whitney went with us, but since we could not think of any women in Moby Dick she sort of got left out of that part.