Aestivate is supposed to refer to animals, especially reptiles who languish in the heat. But I like to think of it as the basic summer philosophy.

That is the summer we are looking for. The summer of hammocks swinging back and forth under sun-dappled tree branches. The summer of sitting on the back porch at night watching fireflies and complaining about the heat. The summer, to borrow Tennessee Williams’s phrase, of “narcotized tranquility.”

Where did that summer go?

Here’s another clue. The bowling alley. It’s air-conditioned here, and they have cheap pitchers of beer. All the ingredients for a worthless afternoon, which is to say, a perfect old-fashioned summer day. But look who’s here. Nobody. Oh, a couple of guys down at the next-to-last lane. But that’s it. Back in the day, on a hot afternoon like this, this place would have been hoppin’. But that summer is gone.

This is what happened to that summer: It went to camp. Kids are learning archery. They’re perfecting their violin skills. They’re doing things and staying active.

That’s fine, I guess. But I wonder if they have a camp for doing nothing and getting bored. Now that would be a great summer camp.