I’m quite bored on this summer afternoon after thinking of nothing but summer (days just like this one, spent sniffing public service gas leaks), since the end of last summer.
All that waiting and here I am.
Soon I’ll be waiting again for summer after living through another uneventful summer, killing time in dread of its end, a gravity that has followed me since my carbon monoxide detector batteries ran out, when summer days were overwhelmed by flashes of overgrown cemeteries seen from flooded expressways and sewer grates clogged by sooty leaves and twigs and the carcasses of vermin.
I cannot say that by summer’s end I’m tired of it, pining for fall as I’m known to long for summer during fall, winter and spring; nor at the end of fall do I welcome winter’s start like summer’s (for I only welcome winter as a way to officially begin getting it out of the way), but when summer ends in fall, becoming a dim faraway light, I start assessing rafters.
It’s as if summer is yanked out from under me and I am falling unroped to the slushy pit of winter, disposed without final rest, even when there’s still some summer stink and a crescent moon flaming in the fumy sky.
Then there are times on the first day of summer when a pointed gust of wind prods me with spring, which can also remind me of fall, and how I will someday ache again for summer while shaving my chin.
I almost cannot accept that it’s officially summer on that day, when at times it’s too much like fall, sometimes rainy, not exactly fall cool, but unsummery, thus feeling like fall, the same way a temperature in winter feels like summer when that same temperature in spring is like a return to a winter day when, as I am driving on some minor parkway, I’m snuffed out by just the right combination of a blank smudgy sky that seems to have stopped cold, a solitary commuter jetliner, and the chill scrub of landfills.
But on the first day of summer, the day of most abundant sunlight, the daylight is already retreating, and the first day becomes the last day of expanding light, and by the evening I know summer is succumbing to fall, when the setting sun hangs in a rotting leaves horizon.
Even when it’s perfectly spring and I stand in the last day of that season on the precipice of summer looking out at fall, I meditate on the shadows encroaching on all the green as an exercise in acceptance, and to accustom myself to autumn as I enter summer.
But once I cross the line, I’m hurled into autumn as summer begins, even as trash blooms on street corners.
So it’s going to be like this again, I say.
I can only look forward to December when a momentary whiff of sub-tropical breeze reminds me of summer, a day when just at the right moment there is a touch of July concrete, sunny piss and a smear of shit in the air and I am convinced that it isn’t so bad after all, and I stop fiddling with knots.
It could have even been the middle of May now that I think of it, before restaurants pique me with alleyway scents of griddle fat and seared meat and sanitation trucks compact trash under the blaze of spoiled sunlight.
At times I have no recollection of what any month feels like and they almost seem one in the same until I say, what a wonderful summer day and it’s actually summer.
Other times I’m unmoved by looking forward, call it content, not drawn to knives, but then by the middle of July I declare summer almost over and I see nothing but the first signs of fall in graveyard leaves when even sewer stenches seem to have been already washed away, despite the crusted gutters.
My only consolation is to transport myself to the blustery crypt of February when there may be a touch of spring, or dare I say summer, in the air.
I am then reminded of the new year, the swing of the dark pendulum towards clear January, how bright winter light can shine through an icicle and come out the other side looking like June, almost smelling of dumpster ooze.
During summer when I’m thinking of January I don’t waste energy anticipating spring, when walking upon a dying crocus I failed to see in bloom, I’ll declare, it’s almost summer.
But what kind of day is today? I can’t really put my finger on it, this half-life day.
Is it summer summer or fall in summer or the approach of summer as it feels in the last days of fall mostly wrapped up in winter?
Or is it spring in January and February that’s like March and April resembling summer as it feels while sitting in my car with the garage door closed?
Everything continues clockwise, most of the time.
I’m reminded of this when things aren’t moving.
It’s around the corner.
Any day can be an occasion for summer.
Then I am transported to not any day, but days when the rosy dawn holds a boiling cloacal tint every day, like real summer.
But this is fleeting and unable to savor the moment, I’m back to considering ledges.
It’s the first day of summer, when the splattered edge of curbsides seem to have already lost their ripeness, when all the sunlight on the horizon has an ever so slight late September cast, the end of summer closing in just as summer is beginning.
Wade Nacinovich‘s work has appeared in Sleepingfish, Queen Mob’s Tea House, the Brooklyn Review and Pindeldyboz. He lives in Portland, Oregon.