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Best Month by J S
 

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  • Someone at the party said, “It’s the best month of summer.”

    It’s a Labor Day Cookout; a few of us were despairing that it was already September.

    I think someone said same thing, the “best month” thing, the last time I was at this party, hosted by the same friend. That was two years ago.

    I nodded then, and I nod this year. Last year, it would have been the case, too, but in a different way. Last September, I ended a relationship that needed to end, and ran one hundred miles. One could even argue that last September was the only good summer month for me.

    From Memorial Day until Labor Day, it was nobody’s fault. Even with no one to blame, though, I concussed myself a lot. I bled a lot on purpose.

    I saw myself in the mirror. It was the first time I reflected back at myself with a blade pushing up against the skin of my neck.

    That was the height of summer. But I had the second half of September to myself. That was the best the summer got.

    This year, at the party, it’s levity, it’s a lot of beer and margaritas. It’s watching balloons fly into the sky and falling back down. It’s playing bocce and purple shorts. It’s a kind lover taking photos of me, and me taking photos of my lover, of a fire, of my friend, his wife, their dogs.

    It’s someone saying “It’s the best month of summer,” and me being able to say, “That’s the goddamned truth.”
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