I have a tendency to feel emotions as heavily as the humidity hangs in the air. This is why I love august. This is why I love summer. The air is always damp, my skin is always too salty, and my baths don’t really clean me that well because I get out and immediately start sweating. In august, I could lay around all day and still have a body that feels like it did a hard days labor. In this season it takes effort for our muscles to just rest.
In august, I embrace the extremism and feel every feeling like the sun beating on the back of my neck. This humidity holds the gears in my mind in place. They move in increments; moving and locking, processing slowly, holding onto every moment of every changing detail. If my mind eats thoughts, it thinks about every movement of the jaw and tongue and how the thought feels going down.
In august, I wake up having just missed the sunrise and actually get to hope for seeing it the next day. We never have to hope to see the sunrise in january, but in august I get to miss it. I have the gift of being able to write love letters to the sunrise, apologizing that I missed it and that I hope to see it tomorrow, but if I don’t that I’ll always remember.
In august, I get to smell soil. I can smell the direction the wind is blowing. I smell aging trees, whose leaves are reaching their last days and soak up every inch of sunshine they have space for. I am the leaves on the trees. Soon, I will turn pale yellow, orange, then brown with them. My stem will become frail, and I’ll lose grip of my post, and I’ll fall to the ground. I’ll lie there, looking up at the sky, with no more use for the sunshine that beats down on me, but I’ll love it as long as I can. I’ll start to gather dew every morning and feel the wet and the soil break me down like a loud whisper. I’ll dream of the sleep I’ll take under the thunderous cold that’s coming, as I continue to lie there and hope for a warm breeze to push me a little farther in any direction.
In august, a low grade panic sets in as the lessening of the days’ length becomes more and more obvious. One morning in the middle of the month, I’ll wake up, the windows wide open, and for the first time in months my top sheet will not suffice as my only covering in bed. The light will have changed from a slight yellow to bright white and the air smells clean. I’ve never liked that smell. Give me a hot wind that is soused in charcoal, gasoline, and grass and I’ll never hold my breath.
August is the month that I love. It’s the month that I swoon for, make pie for, write letters to, and wake up wishing it would stay a little longer. August is the month I want to make a life with, grow old in, harvest with, and kiss goodnight. It is the month I want to scream at and drive away from and then drive right back to. August is the month the corn grows tall for me to get lost in. It is the month the junebugs say goodbye. It is the month my heart beats loudest, my laughs come from my belly, and my tears are saltiest. It is the month I can’t sleep the most, so I sit up at two in the morning and write while I listen to the rain.
I feel my feelings as heavily as humidity hangs in the air, and the intensity bellows during this month. At a moments notice I could be laughing or crying or feel complete emptiness without an inkling as to why. To feel in this way is a frustrating and exhilarating power struggle, and because of it I know emotions only with passion. August is when I have experienced my bests and my worsts that life could bring. August is sweet to me though. August tells me I have something to look forward to, a routine to keep me stable. They tell me they’ll be back next year and we can meet in the same place, at the same time, for as long as I will.
PS- Here’s one of my favorite performance artists doing one of my favorite performances.