Every August 1st, I'm as tan as I get, as social as I get, as round as I get, as restless as I get. I've consumed big bowls of ripe watermelon -- the kind of bowls intended to sit on Mormons' dining tables, not my lap as I watch Absolutely Fabulous at 3am, descending from the writing high.
Since April, I've watched the men run around the bases. By August, aren't they tired? They look tired. Who isn't tired?
Come August, the chlorinated, coconut-oiled, cut-grass nostalgia runs dry, and I'm ready for the social parade to slow then stall then dissipate.
A chorus of sensible moms in denim and Clinique, the moms from my childhood, say, sagely, "You've been out long enough."
When I go out anyway, because I do what I want -- I, too, am a sensible mom just in pleather and Urban Decay -- I jog alone, now to Green Day, not Betty Who.
I pass a red, white, and blue streamer caught in the underbelly of a bush. It's no longer lingering evidence of summer fun; it's litter. I really should come out with a bag and pick all that shit up.
(See, Abbey? You HAVE become a mom. The children made you Mother. These impulses make you Mom.)
When I return home, I don't search for the cocktail recipe you mentioned. I watch another video on composting.
Come August, I want to find value in every scrap and scrape. Come August, I want be rich and fertile and beautiful on the inside.
I want to eat stew and think, in serious terms, about art and health and connection. I'm glad you had a lovely vacation, but that was July chatter. Now I want to hear, concretely, what helps you stay sane, kind, productive, alive.
Deliver me your best Wise Human Cliff Notes, ranked and bullet-pointed.
By August, I'm ready for tights, shawls, cardigans -- this is to say, garments that conceal. I want to wear too much mascara and not enough blush. I want to again see how beautiful we all are by the fire.
Most of all, I want to see what beauty remains when it's all not so sunkissed, lush, obvious.
Summer is a magazine cover. A glossy tease. By August, I want the feature. I want to see truth.
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