September 12, 2005
Summer's Gone (Almost).
I can smell summer's death today. I woke up this morning to cloudy, dewy windows that masked the fog from me. I opened my windows, and the sills smell like sweat. People sweat. I put on my big red robe and went out on the balcony only to smell death in the air. Summer's death smells like old burnt wood. Dead bugs. Rusted metal. Too many people mourn the death of summer. They have to come back from exotic or merely restful vacations or to school or university. Gone are cook-outs, iced-tea, swimming on weekday afternoons, getting away with another shirt button undone and sweet delicious corn on the cob. Late August means melancholy over having to get back to work. Early September means getting up to actually do it. Party's over. So is nap time, lunch time and tea time. Get thee back to work. However, the official start of autumn remains weeks away, while actual fall weather may be even further off in some regions. What remains now are all the bad parts of summer. The heat and humidity. Bug bites. Inconsiderate neighbors using their weekwackers at 7:30 on a Sunday morning. Sweat and the smell of it. Couple all this with catching up on all the responsibilities we've slouched off for so long, and you get the misery of very late summer. I thoroughly enjoy watching summer die, however. I put on my bug spray and sit outside with a pencil and a Moleskine and bask in the hot season's last throws before my favorite season starts. While I can appreciate that a lot of people are sad to see summer go, I really cannot understand it. Summer remains, to me, the meteorological nadir of the entire year. And I love to watch it sink further and further until it gets eaten by autumn, who digests the green leaves and excretes them in myriad hues that can make even the most fervent lover of summer forget all about barbecuing and short skirts.