First Day of School. MY DAUGHTER
Some shade of ochre falls like a sun-stained linen onto the landscape this time every year. People talk about the wonder of autumn's arrival, but that marvel just doesn't happen save for summer's ugly death. Oh, if you think that's bad, says summer, you should see my yearbook.
So, anyway, I killed summer. It was a lot like running over a medium sized animal along a country highway, middle of the night. You definitely noticed the bump, but in the fear of uncertainty and darkness, ain't no way your empathy's enough to make you turn around to see if you just wounded it, to see if it was just a nick, and maybe you could wrap its tail up in an ACE bandage, kiss it lightly on the forehead and completely forget that time you were bitten by a perfectly healthy rattus rattus. I can see it fading in the mirror, this whole lost pillar of my middle age, sinking slowly into the sand.
Saturday, I found a small stash of chanterelles, dried and hard as stone because of a false rain. The whole season's just been one ugly affair after another. I took my daughter out blackberry pickin, and I will say this for the drought, that forbearance makes for sweet tidings. But of course, I was stung by another goddamn spider. God, summer, just go away mad!
On the way home, we hammered out a theory as to why you always wake up just before hitting the ground before a great fall. I remember my last summer in New York on the freshman soccer team suffering a monumental concussion and finding it utterly fascinating that I couldn't remember anything about the day, remarkable as it was the first day of school. So we figured that when you dream you're falling, you actually do hit the ground before you wake up, you just don't remember hitting the ground due to the effects of short term memory loss following concussion. You don't die. You just forget.
Do you hear that, summer? I haven't died, I just forgot, what with all the violence of the collision, the galactic impact of a complete miss, like being concussed by the cavitation of an underwater vacuum, shot force majeure like Zeus snapping his fingers at Poseidon, oh no you didn't. This was an entire summer, completely lost, no love, no drama, no hard choices, just a big, boring self-important season changing wardrobes at the end of a long overdue fad.