Tuesday, August 14, 2007
My August
It's the damp end of the season, the month when the hair on the back of your neck clings to your skin. Everything sticks, even the air to your skin, your skin to your skin, the bend of your elbow, knees. All of it, a tangled mess of wet heat by the end of the month.

It occurred to me today as I ran a cloth over the counter top and watched bare-legged children race up and down the street through the window over the sink, that I haven't spent nearly enough time outside this season. That the season itself hasn't mattered as much as it should. A few BBQ's, evenings spent smelling like insect repellent and still slapping the suckers from my arms, neck, cheeks, while trying to cut chicken breast into pre-school sized bites - but otherwise, it might as well been March or October, the way that I've wasted the summer away. Working some. Typing not nearly as much as I should. Dragging myself through the mundane without paying much more attention to the glorious season outside, save for the occasional complaint that it's too hot, too humid, too...August-like.

At work, it's air conditioned, which is nice as I'm forced to dress in a standard issue sweater and pair of pleated navy slacks - the entire ensemble designed to create a uniform shapelessness amongst the women on the staff. I look like a light blue square, like a puffed-up pastel after-dinner mint, with a smile, of course.

I think about the time I'm missing at home while I wait for the minutes to blink by on the digital clock. 6:30, they might be on the deck, cooking out, swatting bugs. 7:30, probably bath time. I imagine my son giggling and asking for Lila to play in the tub too.

The sixty-year old woman beside me has a sour face and is quick to assure me that she is in fact the keeper of all knowledge. From tollbooths to organic cooking to opening restaurants in the mountains of Montana. She knows it all. Does it all. I make the mistake of telling her that I write. She does too, of course. Her ghostwriter has already told her that her story is a guaranteed best seller.

I sigh and steal a glance at the clock. 8:30, my husband is probably reading the Bible to The Boss and tucking him in. Lila, already asleep beneath the hum of the air conditioner in our room. While I stand and listen to an argument as it erupts with me in the middle, holding a slip of paper, scanning it like it holds some sort of solution to the discussion that's whizzing around my head.

The customer at the counter assures me, as soon as Ms. Sour Face has turned her back, that I have been wonderful and she will be letting the manager know that. I blink and think to say that I really don't care one way or the other. She could tell them that I cursed them all out for all I care. I'm not even really here.

9:00, he's probably sitting beneath the ceiling fan in his recliner. I'd like to think, perhaps, beginning the countdown to my arrival home, but I know that there's probably a game on, either sports or video, and that he'll be either sleeping or mid-level when I do eventually get to leave, driving through the dense night air, making my way home.

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Blogger TrappedInColorado said...

When I was about 11 years old, we went to a beach in North Carolina where we lived. I had one of those cheap rubber rafts with the bulge at the top for a head rest and about 5 individual columns of rubber for the body. I don't even know if they make them anymore. Anyway, I was out in the waves riding that raft in on as many waves as I could catch. Once, while attempting to get positioned for a "big" wave I did not get turned around. I ended up riding that wave all the way in backwards. It was effortless and exhilarating and I just enjoyed the ride. Your writing is like that. This post, I just let take me and rode it in effortlessly to the end. Your writing is simply wonderful.

Blogger zhoen said...

Miserably lovely.

Blogger david C said...

work is work, a means to an end. As you have noted, serenity is found in the times not occupied by work. My soul mate, the love and calls to dada from our daughter.. those are what drives me to work even harder. It is a joy to come home

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