The last week of August is a dead week—nothing happens and no one is here. Every store has a sweater or three available for perusal, prominently displayed as a distraction from the tangled clutch of sundresses, tank tops, and 4th of July-themed shorts that no one wanted to buy. Labor Day is almost here; school may be starting or whatever, but guess what, buddy—summer ain’t over yet.
According to the calendar and also to the movements of the sun around this godforsaken planet, the autumnal equinox occurs on September 22. This is an official changing of the seasons marked not only by the date on the calendar but the aforementioned sun movements. September is like a weird appendix to summer that everyone ignores, for no reason other than force of habit held over from our school days and the retail industry’s desire to clothe sweaty limbs in sweaters before it is appropriate to do so.
The best part about September is the weather—balmy, sunny, still warm, and absent the cursed humidité that makes summer my worst enemy. The beach in September is empty; on the East Coast, the water is its optimal temperature—cold enough to feel refreshing but not so cold that you lose your breath once the first wave hits below the belt. It feels like summer but there’s a hint of fall’s cursed decay in the air, too. September nights are crisp and smell faintly of burning leaves—a nice reprieve from summer’s aroma of garbage, pee pee, and air conditioning.
The nights are still warm enough, but not that oppressive warmth that makes it hard to breathe—nice enough to sit outside with a wine or a large seltzer water when it’s dark out, but not so sticky that your thighs leave skin on the chair you’re sitting on when you stand up. How nice to feel comfortable, you think. What a pleasure it is to be... fine.