August is officially at its end which makes me feel like I’m able to breathe properly and stretch. This summer has been a disaster in the sense that I feel like I haven’t changed or done anything worthy—both of which are perpetual, unrealistic expectations I set up for myself to achieve at almost any turn of season or beginning of any new month or new week or new day. I am self-aware enough to know a lot needs to change. But much like other days, nothing notable changes.
One of the best opening lines I’ve ever read (from Love and Friendship) is:
The day on which Emily Stockwell Turner fell out of love with her husband began much like other days.
Although I am the type of person to wade in the shallow end of the pool rather than jump in and although I am the type of person to set a cup of coffee out for it to cool before drinking (only to forget I had put it out until it’s way too cold to drink comfortably), I am also the type of person who daydreams about the type of change that requires patience and understanding and work to just happen immediately when I need it.
I wrote it down: it took me two months to get over it. Almost to the day.
My friend and I were loafing around her apartment—emphasis on loafing because it wasn’t even my apartment but I had unbuttoned the top of my jeans and was slouched in the armchair that’s crammed into the corner of her living room with my legs spread out, a position that always reminds me of my mom because she used to smack my legs when I’d sit like this and tell me to “sit ladylike”—and she suddenly said “I don’t know anyone who had a good summer.”
It wasn’t as if anything particularly horrible had happened. It was just a bad summer. And the day we realized it began much like other days: with us making coffee in our apartments and dropping off dry cleaning and sweating on the subway platform and going to work and eating lunch with coworkers and then, suddenly, right before going to sleep we realized how bad everything had been (especially the end of June, the first weekend following California, the end of July) and how happy we were that August is finally finally finally finally over.