Summer Slipped Away


In summer I return to my past remade. The year has drenched me and I find that much of what I was has been lost in the flooding.

It is June and summer is depthless. I sink into a rhythm slowly, sleepily, until I am submerged entirely in thick honey. Lying in the tall grass, I figure days must have passed since I first buried myself beneath the sun’s rays. When I ask, it has only been minutes. I understand. Time is never of the essence.

I read on the train. It is a book set in January and the memory of such cold is vague: compartmentalised in some far-off place in my brain, smothered by thick layers of heat. July swelters. We go to the beach.

I rake my hands through the sand. It is warm; sunbaked. I watch it slip through my fingers and find it funny when small granules get stuck to my skin. This is contentment. The grains trip over one another, racing to reach the ground. I pour and I play and I do not worry where the sand lands. There is so much of it, it does not cross my mind to think that it could ever be exhausted.

The breeze picks at my hair, playing with it in knots in front of my face. Something has shifted, I can smell it in the air pushing its way across my skin. I turn away. It is time to go in. The trees shed their leaves to try to warn me that things are changing. It always happens like this.

I return to the house briefly, only for a jumper, to protect myself against the evening chill. The house has taken on a dimmer appearance sometime in the past hour. As if it is no longer the real house, but a poor apparition whose enchantment is wearing off. I stop in front of the mirror my father hung on my bedroom wall when I was eight and wonder if it was always going to come to this. It doesn’t seem there is any way things could have ever been different.

I walk quickly through the halls, my footfalls heavy with intent and indifference, until I am outside and I know the shift has solidified. As August closes I feel an itch over my shoulder and recognise that the thread tying me together is once more coming undone. Things are underway and it’s time to put to rest the life I had grown fond of.

Image: Claude Monet via Wikimedia Commons

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