October 1, 2008

FALL (Failing At Lowest Levels) [Part XI of my "Thinking in Acronyms" series]

I thought I was ready for fall. One sunny morning I stepped out and I could smell it coming. The cold already hovering above, waiting to settle in; the leaves all but ready to dare the jump off their branches and twigs. Fall was imminent, it made me smile. It would be time for tea again, people and relationships would settle in and be figured out. Finally everything would slow down, shed the heated haze, and could be captured in a photograph.

And then the rain came and suddenly I knew I wasn’t ready at all. For days floods soaked the streets and the little boy on his tricycle. I had braced myself against the cold, but the rain melted my coat of sugar, forced me into jackets. The wind picked up and returned me in circles to where I’ve always been. In truth, fall is just a descending chute into winter and only ever filled with joy if you have something you want to take a picture of. Drink tea alone and have no relationships to figure out, the brumal depression is already knocking at the door.

For the cost of an airfare I could have spring, but my moss-green pouch is spent. Frantically I gather Christmas decorations to build myself armor against winter time and its black, thorny tentacles that wrap around my heart each year. And then I get started on those lists I’m gonna need, ranking the joys of the year to argue away that it has been wasted. It’s not so much the dusk that does me in, but the melting dawn that follows. It’s best not to shut your eyes at all, when the sights scare you back to sleep.

“It started feeling like October…”

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