I have these super-healthy (and generally annoying) friends who get all, “You need to listen to what your body is saying to you. Listen. It will tell you how it wants to be treated.” And when I say, “Yeah, well my body is screaming for me to eat an entire bag of pepperoni and wash it down with tropical punch Crystal Light,” they shoot me this sort of third-grade-teacher look and then go pray for me at Our Lady of Pilates and Perpetual Pork Deprivation.
Why is it my body—nay, my very soul—cries out for Shiraz and sour cream (In heaven, there is sour cream. Lots and lots of sour cream), but yours cries out for spelt and seaweed? Why? I’ll tell you why, BECAUSE YOU ARE LYING. I’m on to you, Miss I-Don’t-Even-Think-About-Cool-Ranch-Doritos-Anymore. You do. Oh, but you do. And you? You, Miss I-Need-A-Sweater-In-August-Because-My-Body-Fat-Is-Less-Than-Zero, you may get high off running six miles, but I can get the same head rush from standing up too quickly.
It’s too damn hot to do anything but eat frozen cantaloupe and watch Mad Men on Netflix. I once said that February is ten percent shorter than the average month, but feels thirty percent longer. August never ends. Never. August is the rock I’m constantly pushing up the hill. August is that hair you get across your eyeball and you have to go up to total strangers and say, “Um, excuse me, but could you pluck this invisible hair out of my eyeball BEFORE I GO ALL BATSHIT UP IN HERE?!” August is the month I have to keep my undies in the freezer just to have enough energy to use the caps lock key. I’m so exhausted now. I need a frozen margarita– for restorative purposes only.
I know. First world problems. But they are mine.
Down the road from me is a house with four or five ginkgo trees in the yard. One of the trees has this rather large yellow patch, and I feel it’s turned yellow just to mess with me. I’m not saying the tree is talking to me or anything, but I think it knows how I feel about August. Did you know that leaves turn colors and fall off because the tree yells at them and cuts them off? It’s true. I learned this from NPR. (Which, by the way, is a good reason to fund NPR—they have cool stories. Also, I get ideas for posts there, so if you like reading this blog, consider public radio my tip jar)
The leaves make food for the tree. The problem is that when winter rolls around, if the leaves stayed on the tree, they’d get ice in their veins (I can relate to this problem. I’m often accused of having ice in my veins). Icy veins means food can’t get to the tree because—and pay close attention here because I’m going to use some highly technical arboreal jargon—their suckers get stopped up. Like you know how you’re sitting there just quietly slurping your Frappuccino and all of a sudden—BOOM– you get this ice chunk stuck in the bottom of your straw? Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about, Hippy McHipster. There’s this one rogue chunk of ice, and all of a sudden your Caffeine Slash Syrup Delivery System is clogged. You can’t get your CSSDS into your veins, and before you know it, you’ve thrown that bitch across the Starbucks parking lot in a fit August-induced rage and now where are you, huh?
Okay, maybe that last part is just me. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m a writer slash artist slash housewife. The closest I get to a Frappuccino is cold Sanka with Ovaltine. But I digress.
No, the tree doesn’t just decide, I’m gonna kill you, suckers. It cuts the leaves off—quite literally—and lives to see another allergy season. I’m guessing, like me, this particular tree (see, I can get myself back on track) decided maybe its eating habits needed to have a bit of an overhaul. Maybe its daddy didn’t love it and it eats its feelings so it’s cutting some leaves off early to start slimming down for the upcoming social season.
Whatever the reason, this tree is turning yellow right now. And I now have the worst craving for coffee toffee ice cream.