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Flipping through the Calendar
July’s heat is always ruthless. She packs a punch every time she strikes – in my small town, my street is turned upside down whenever July comes to town. The rowdy teenagers walk around with their hair slicked back, a sign they have just been for a dip in the lake. My sisters and their friends huddle around our fan, arguing over which direction it should be pointed in. And kids leap down the street after the chimes of the ice-cream truck.
This happens every year when July settles in. She unloads her hefty luggage and spills herself all over town. People find their ways to cope. But whether it’s AC, the swimming pool, or sliding ice down their throats, July still manages to sneak herself into every nook and cranny.
I survive July every year by giving her some company. I hike through the forest until my back drips and my face is sticky, and when I meet July face to face at the top of the hill, she always laughs at the state that my shirt’s in:
‘You look like you went for a swim’ she giggles.
I usually wish that was the case, but I can’t tell her that. July’s temper is fiery, just like her. She would get all hot and bothered, just like how she makes the rest of the townsfolk.
July’s surprisingly pleasant . . . well, it depends on whom you ask. Other months don’t seem too fond of her. She complains about them, saying: ‘January’s so frigid’ or ‘May thinks she can outshine me’. Being in the middle of the year must be tough. As she says: ‘Being perfect’s a b*tch.’
Now, I may sound like I’m portraying July like an immature cat lady in her late 80s.But once you get to know her, you’ll love July. Although, you’ll have to excuse her French.
We would chat away for hours like this. I would already be sweltering. Her mere presence would give me a fever. But among all that daze and dizziness, we spent some good time together.
You’d think that some fruitful conversations would have come from all that time together, and her having lived for thousands of years. Thousands of years to get wise in, years to tuck knowledge away in the curls of her hair. But the July that I know is awkward and bold, cracking jokes and spitting snide remarks: the least Aristotelian person I’ve met – no manners.
Sometimes I feel like asking her why, if she has lived for centuries, she turned out so childish? But I knew she’d just retort with, ‘I’m an intellectual. I’m smarter than Einstein’. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even know who Einstein is.
‘What would a month talk about?,’ you ask. Well, a lot of things. ‘How’s school?’, ‘What are you wearing?’, ‘Did you have to be so late?’ or just whatever catches her attention.
I just sit there, listening to her ramble on. No ice lollies, no fans for me. A bit of rapport is good for everyone – even a month.
It’s always sad to wave goodbye – those 31 days pass in a flash. On the 31st, she brings her palm up to near her face and gives an awkward little wave. She’s soon cursing at how impatient August is, off on her annual rant about how August always ‘hogs an extra day despite coming after her.’
Though I’ll never admit it to her: I’m looking forward to some cooler days to come.