August Never Ends

by Kevin Lincoln


In the gleaming, unblemished offices of an internet media company, located in a revitalized industrial district now home to seed-funded start-ups, dozens of young people sit in front of computers. The computers seem angry; the office looks like the inside of a soda can. A calendar reads “August 15.”

DEREK sits in front of one of these computers. He’s wearing a collared shirt and jeans. He tried to wear a denim jacket once, but he felt like a cowboy, in a bad way.

Derek is talking to GWYN, who he would like to sleep with, but also respects, as a person.

DEREK: It’s horrible.
GWYN: Yeah.
DEREK: It’s all so horrible.
GWYN: Yeah.
DEREK: The Internet is like a garbage can.
GWYN: I guess so.
DEREK: I feel like I’m always putting garbage in a garbage can.
GWYN: I’m going to go get Sun Chips.
DEREK: Can you grab me a seltzer?
GWYN: Sure.

Gwyn leaves. Derek turns to face his computer. TweetDeck blinks back at him.

Derek had a dream about TweetDeck the night before. He tried to have sex with it.

In the send box of TweetDeck, Derek types: “August needs to end.” He clicks send. The tweet is favorited nine times, once by an editor Derek admires and once by a girl he is in love with, although he’s never met her. No retweets.

Derek reaches for his seltzer, but it isn’t there yet.

GUS rolls up in his chair, which has wheels on the bottom so that Gus can roll up to Derek in it. Gus is dressed exactly the same as Derek is. This is a figure of speech, usually, but today, it was embarrassing: they were dressed exactly the same.

GUS: Man, August fucking does need to end.
DEREK: Seriously. I mean, it was enough with the war.
GUS: And then the domestic thing.
DEREK: And now this celebrity thing. It’s like August decided it was going to overwhelm us with shit.
GUS: No joke. It’s a deluge of shit.
DEREK: Apres August, no deluge. Of shit.
GUS: What?
DEREK: Nothing.
GUS: Can’t wait for this month to be over, dude.
DEREK: Halfway there. And then everything changes.
GUS: Thank God.


Gus, Gwyn, and Derek are sitting at a high-top in a bar downtown, next to a building that used to be a tenement but now contained rich people. They’re drinking beers. A chalkboard behind the bar says, AUGUST 31. Below that, it says SPECIALS. Below that, it says NOTHING.

GWYN: Can’t believe it’s almost September.
DEREK: I’m not sure I could’ve made it any longer.
GUS: I know. By the beginning of this week, it was just like… this month has to end. Or else, I will die. I will die.
DEREK: It felt like it got worse, too, didn’t it? Like, by Tuesday, I was already saying the week had to end. By Wednesday, I was saying the day had to end at like, 9:30 a.m. I wasn’t even in the office yet.
GWYN: Today I said an hour had to end, and it hadn’t started.
GUS: Whatever. It’s all behind us. In September, everything changes.
DEREK: So, like, is the Oracle running late, or what?
GUS: Yeah, sorry, he texted me and said he’d be here in a few. Apparently the L train got stuck crossing into Manhattan.
GWYN: Fucking L.
DEREK: Cool. Should we grab him a beer, or?
GUS: I don’t know what he likes. We can ask when he gets here.

Just then, THE ORACLE walks in through the front door. He’s wearing boots and Warby Parker eyeglasses. He joins the other three.

ORACLE: Jesus, sorry guys.
DEREK: No worries, man.
GWYN: It happens.
ORACLE: I pride myself on being timely.
GUS: Really, don’t worry about it. You want a beer?
ORACLE: Sure. Whatever you’re drinking.

Gus goes to the bar. The Oracle sits and rubs his eyes.

ORACLE: So. You guys want to know some shit?
DEREK: Let’s wait for Gus, it would be kind of lame to start without him.
ORACLE: No, you’re right.
GWYN: So like, how’d you get into…
ORACLE: Clairvoyance?
GWYN: Yeah, wasn’t sure what the word was.
ORACLE: Right, you’d think it’d be “oracling,” or, you know.

Derek and Gwyn both laugh.

ORACLE: But seriously, God told me to.
GWYN: That’s cool.

Gus returns with two beers.

ORACLE: All right. Let’s get down to business. What do you guys want to know.
GUS: First off, thanks so much for coming to talk to us…
ORACLE: Let’s not make a big thing about it.
GUS: Sure. OK. Well, August sucked, right? It sucked.
DEREK: Yeah, you know, the war, and the domestic thing, and the celebrity thing.
GWYN: Just the worst. So we were wondering, tomorrow’s September. The month is over. Everything changes. EVERYTHING. And we want to know what September’s going to be like. Figured we’d plan ahead.

The Oracle stares at them for a few seconds.

DEREK: What do you mean what.
GUS: What’s September going to be like?
ORACLE: It’s going to be the same. Why the fuck wouldn’t it be?
GWYN: But August is over.
ORACLE: You think just because the month is over, everything’s going to not suck?
GUS: Exactly.
ORACLE: Everything sucks because everything sucks. That doesn’t change because the fucking month is over.
DEREK: But the war?
GUS: And the domestic thing?
GWYN: And the celebrity thing?
ORACLE: Those don’t even affect you guys!
DEREK: I think they affect everyone.
ORACLE: They affect a lot of people way more than they affect you.
GUS: So.
ORACLE: Well, September’s going to be exactly the fucking same, because time is an illusion and you’re all obsessed with the symptoms, not the actual problems. So stop moping.
DEREK: Christ.
GUS: That’s a fucking bummer.

The Oracle turns to Gwyn.

ORACLE: So how long have you lived in New York?


Derek sits at his computer. He’s wearing a sweater over his collared shirt. Gus is wearing a denim jacket. He looks like a fucking cowboy.

A calendar reads “September 10.”

Derek opens TweetDeck. Last night, he dreamed that he and Tweetdeck had had sex, and then Tweetdeck was emotionally unavailable.

In the send box of TweetDeck, Derek types, “Man, I am so over September.” He clicks send. He gets seven favorites. The girl who he’s in love with retweets it.

Derek opens a new DM.

Kevin Lincoln is a writer in Los Angeles. Photo by Paul McCoubrie.