"April is the cruelest month," whined T.S. Eliot. Maybe so, but August is not exactly Miss Congeniality either. To me, August is the Orphan Month.
By August, summer 's "short lease" groweth 'way too long for this lodger. (Besides, it was Will Shakespeare who spoke of the "short lease," Will, whose London shivers on the same latitude as Newfoundland, for pity's sake.) August doesn't really seem a child of summer, with its delights and charms, but clearly can't claim the vigor and anticipation of early fall either. Do you know what August's flower is? The poppy. That's August, all right: drowsy, dopey, drugged out. And August is (check it out) National Psoriasis Month. Let's all go out in the mid-day sun and scratch!
When I worked in Paris, August was eerie. Most of the population, rich and poor, abandoned the city to vacation the full four weeks in the mountains or at the seaside. Walking down a major boulevard, I could have been on the set of a sci-fi movie: no one strolling, shopping, no horns honking, the Metros echoing hollowly. One expected giant snails to slither out of the Bois de Boulogne at any moment, seeking revenge on escargot-loving gourmets.
And of course, for anyone who's ever been in therapy, August truly IS orphan month. All credentialed therapists, be they Jungian, Freudian, feminist or aromatic, must throw dust covers over the couch and close shop in August. Clients are left to deal with the unhealed wounds of abandonment, freshly salted, alone.
Even major league baseball, by August, is so deja-vu. The thrilling romance of spring training is long gone. Games stretch out like tired bathing suits--thirteen, fourteen, fifteen innings. Neither team can bring matters to a climax. Injuries sprout everywhere. The DL is no longer an elite club; it's homeroom. Summoned from the bush leagues, adolescents appear on field, disappear, and another lad has his brief stay in the show. You don't know any of their names, and you don't care. Not any more. It's AWGUST!
But up ahead, in the distance, cool and waiting, is October. Now there's a month!