G1: saving august

If I write a post about August, I’ll complete a line on my bingo board, finally. This month has seen six of sixteen completions, and I did the math the other day and realized I could squeeze all of them in if I did a post a day.

I decided not to do this, though original-Rarasaur would have surely tackled the challenge. Current-Rarasaur is trying to build a life with a little less tackling involved.

I was going to save August for the end of the month– get Bingo on a bang! Or perhaps for my birthday on the 27th. It seemed like the best prompt to wrap up the month, though I suppose any could be made to fit.

But today felt like an August day. So let’s start here.  Let’s get a cup of coffee and sit down and chat.

I can drink coffee again. Small amounts, nothing fancy. Half caf on a good day, if I get to it early enough, but this is progress.  I missed the coffee far less than the chocolate.

Last week I made myself a brownie.

The sun has been dense this week, setting itself into the city in compact bricks of heat.  Sometimes it’s so hot you can walk into a wall of stacked light and come out toasted.  Sometimes, it’s so hot you can push your arms up into the clouds and come back scorched.

If there were ever golden eggs up there for the grabbing, they are surely fried by now.

I like how this does not stop August. In another month, July maybe, this heatwave would be a call to rest.  In September, an urge to slow down.  But August stops for nothing, and nothing stops.

Even rest and relaxation, at this point, is timed and calculated.  Five minutes at the park before we get home.  A quick jog around the beach and then it’s time to work.  We can get an ice cream cone on the way to school supplies. 

This year, of course, you have to add: if you can afford either.

My city is hurting.

I keep mentioning that because this city is a living thing to me, and I ache for it.  I know almost everyone who reads this does not live here, and might not ever even visit, but over tea and coffee and brownies, we can forget that for a second.

I can tell you about the farm workers on the fields. Their faces covered in t-shirt masks, and bodies covered in sweatshirts to keep them safe from the pesticides and light. They can see the fire just over the horizon, smell it heavy in the air.  The work doesn’t stop, because nothing stops for August, and the kids start school at home this week but without a teacher to provide a spare pencil, how will they have one?

There are school supply drop offs everywhere and the city is lifting itself up, flipping itself over to do a headstand and say, look how strong these arms are. They can even hold up me.

I can tell you that our food pantries are always full and always emptied, and so many kids aren’t eating anyway.  I can tell you about the prisons.  How the smoke settles into their cells and they’re breathing in those body-weakening toxins in the middle of a pandemic.

Can you see them?  It’s okay if you can’t.  People who live here can’t see most those things.

Al fresca dining is in. We closed down city streets so that restaurants can seat patrons outside.  Pork belly and edible flowers are the treats of the season.  Green tomato pie, and grapefruit cocktails. I hear it’s a good time to buy beach side right now.  Whole apartment structures have been evacuated of renters.  You can buy the shell for a song, if you know the right words.

Even the empty shell of my beachside city sings like the ocean, full-bodied moans and operatic cries.  I kinda like that we’re so noisy that we can drown out an ocean and its echo both.

And I know you’re probably too far away to hear it, but this is the time for that truth to be a falsehood: August.  August when nothing stops because we have forced a start.  August when the sun is a brick-layer and the ocean builds itself a stage and pours itself into the sky.  August when you drip with whalesong sweat and walk through star boiled air.

August 2020, when I can hear the shell of the city below my feet, clinking, as the tunnel of it howls in my ears about all that we’ve lost, and how much work it will be to fill it up again.

August every year, when we begin again.  An unrecognized new year for most, but for me, the truest beginning. My birth month.

“Do you ever stop moving?” they say at the food bank when I drag a box of cans behind me.

I was a Monday baby. An August child.  An early birth.

I was born of human-staged beginnings, on starting lines that someone drew in with chalk and we all abide by.

I carry my own chalk now. Start when I need to. August is a good month for it here.  Schools open and the height of harvest hits and the fires sound the alarms.  Everyone empties their hands, and readies for work.

This year will be more work than most.  The city is hungry, ocean-wailing, emptied of so much, and we will have to get dirty and sweaty to get things done.

But it’s 2020.  There’s sanitizer and cleanser on every corner.  We can make this work.

Nothing stops August.

How is it looking in your city?

______________________________

Happy Cheer Pepper Day!  Every 22nd of every month.  Some other people celebrating:

 

And shout outs to:

 

28 thoughts on “G1: saving august

  1. Without the ocean, you just wrote San Bernardino. And if I had a song, I would consider buying one of those ocean side shells but would feel too sad to live in it – the renters, now gone – and so would likely end up homeless because I’d have to give units away…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I keep reminding myself that the people buying up the spaces aren’t the bad guys, and in fact, they might be the only reason certain areas survive. But it’s hard to imagine them preserving what little bit of true culture we’ve managed to manifest or save. I guess time will tell. I am hopeful, despite everything.

      I’m sorry San Bernardino is hurting too. Sending love and light your way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There was a previous Rarasauar ? ? I may have met this entity a couple of years ago via blog. Sounds like there may be a story in here somewhere. I don’t know which is your city but agree, so many of them are hurting. Sadly I think they are suffering from self-inflicted wounds, like injured children more afraid of being helped than they are of the pain in them now. We have fires, bad fires near us and the heat and the smoke seem to be slowly choking us. With a bit of planning, we keep our homes tolerable and bodies comfortable but this is no fun.

    Here’s hoping that our pain runs it’s course soon and relaxes it’s grip on our lives.
    Glad you’ve stopped by.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amazing post!
    Reading through made me feel like August was a person and I had encountered his/her biography.
    It’s nice you relate with everything as if they are personalities that can be interacted with.
    Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. My city might be your city too… its hurting but it seems most people dont see maybe the world is full of those blind to the life around them
    But nothing stops August it huffs and puffs
    ~B

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I loved your post, and was struck by the windy name of August. Here, it’s often a windless month. I’ll be sure to pop by and say that there, too, but I have an odd sense of time and since I can’t be sure I will do that soon– I wanted to do it here now. 🙂 I’m sorry your city is hurting too. I hope more people open their eyes to it. I think that’s the way to healing.

      Like

  5. Such a moving heart-wrenching post Ra. But you’re right of course “we can make this work”. Always always people find a way to help each other, to make it work, and do this – “the city is lifting itself up, flipping itself over to do a headstand and say, look how strong these arms are. They can even hold up me.”
    Wishing you a fearsomely happy birthday birthday sister. Celebrate!
    Alison xo

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Hi there. Your post resonated. My city is hurting, too. Actually, everyone feels it but not everyone is doing something about it and that makes it more painful. I hope you have a happy and meaningful birthday with your loved ones. Thanks for coffee and if I was there, I wouldn’t pass up a brownie.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I found your piece really moving, capturing so much of the isolation and uncertainty of these times. I live in a regional area in South Australia and our border controls and isolation have led to only minor restrictions but a wave in our neighbouring state, Victoria, would make your words resonate strongly with the millions in Melbourne. I hope you had a lovely birthday 🎂

    Like

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