It was one of those warms summers - warm as I remember them in those years, the sky so blue, the heat so intense it seemed to be melting down the road of tar and dust and rock. We walked the road every afternoon, right after lunch. The mornings were reserved to the sacred sleep following a long night, but the fiery blaze of the afternoon didn't keep us inside. We'd walk down the road. How many miles long was it? I don't think I've ever known, as it mattered little. We just walked down the road.
We could, of course, simply walk to the city's dockyard and catch the boat to the island, as it would take us only ten minutes. But we didn't like to do it: we, born and raised in the countryside with its dusty roads and harsh weather, were not fond of the city's easy ways. And that boat was always too crowded, mostly with people whose languages we could not even begin to understand. So we walked to another dockyard, a smaller, less used one, whose boat felt like it was there just waiting for us. In no time we'd be sitting inside, watching the river and the sea as they merged in one blue, endless mirror of water. In no time, we'd be in the island.
Sometimes we'd meet his friends there, in the sands. Back in those days I never felt uneasy among strangers. Maybe because he never forgot I was there, and did not know them. Maybe because they knew I was his friend, and that made me their friend as well. Maybe because in that time I was more outgoing. More at ease. Things back then were easier. We'd all be there, enjoying the summer in the beach. We had nothing to do. We had nothing to worry about. The weather was always perfect, which means it was always as hot as a sphere of hell. The sea was always warm and quiet, and in the rare days it wasn't and the lifeguards came and told everyone not to get into the ocean, we'd simply grab our gear and walk to the other side of the island, by the river, where the waters are always quiet. We'd spend the afternoon there, between ball games in the sand, and fun in the sea. Nothing else was needed.
By the evening we'd return. Boat. Long walk down the road, not as warm then as the sun was going down. Home. My second home, one in which I know I'll always be welcome. I remember it now, and it pains me to know that I'll never have such a time again in my whole lifetime: countless days without worrying, without giving anyone satisfactions about this or that, about doing whatever it is that must be done.