Here We Go
Autumn is a stalker. The first couple of times I notice it, I think, “nah, I’m not seeing what I think I’m seeing. Everything is fine.” I shop for school supplies as though the children will be in flip-flops all year, as if a beautiful August somehow lasts forever, rain and chill a delusion I once had. Then on my street the tippy-tops of the ash trees, planted in the 60s by people I don’t know but dearly love, begin to change. “It’s fine,” I say again. “The flaming ash trees look so beautiful with a blue sky.” Eventually I notice the evening light glowing more like candle flame than tanning bulb, and I let myself begin to remember. Winter is coming, and not in some Game of Thrones way, just in the old way, the one with rain and Seasonal Affect Disorder.
Suddenly, yesterday, the stalker went full crazy, not even trying to hide or be charming. Rain is falling full and constant. I’m packing school lunches and making sure people have coats and closed-toed shoes.
Here we go again.
In case it’s not clear, I’m not a fan of Fall or Winter. Yes, they can be beautiful (Earth is like that), but they make me sad. I feel like I’m pulling my mask and snorkel back down over my face and thinking, “I’m still not any good at this! I’m not ready!” as the mask instantly fogs and water trickles down the breathing tube. I don’t want to smell your P.S. (can’t even bring myself to type the words) latte, your candle, your cider, or even your Christmas tree. I want it to be Spring, Summer. I want green shoots pushing through dark, wet soil. I want breezes turning mild, not harsh. I want longer days, not shorter.
Today I drove north to Lake Forest Park on I-5 with Bran, and we discussed the various bulldozers and backhoes prepping sites for the light-rail track. Misty precipitation and gray clouds blurring the background of everything like the portrait setting does. But it didn’t make me feel pretty. My phone connected to my van and, unsolicited, began playing the Beach Boys Endless Summer. I smirked and let myself go full eight-year-old-girl, hard-crushing-emo to “Surfer Girl.” Make my heart come all undone. Tears blurred my eyes for a second before my little wind-shield wiping eyelids blinked them away. Do you love me? Do, you, surfer girl? I don’t know why, but I let it get inside me. I felt like I was Brian Wilson, and the surfer girl was the ending summer. “Be sure to come back to me,” I thought. “We can surf and stuff. And our love will grow and stuff. Ya know?”
I wanted to write. Because, having just devoted a full page to it and betraying my antipathy toward the colder months, I really love how emotional they make me feel. Quiet, pensive, creative brooding drives me to make work. During Summer, I don’t think I’ve ever written anything longer than an Instagram post really worth reading. But I wrote a whole stinkin’ book during the crummy months over the last few years! I’m itching to sit around and write. Moleskins in my bedroom, purse, and glove compartment are full of ideas, jokes, and pictures demanding alphabetic flesh and a home on my Google drive. I’m ready to work.
It’s time to sell my book. It’s very real, and I definitely need help! Please go over and opt-in at thealmostdancer.com for a few scant emails from me, and get excited! It’s funny that now that it’s book-selling time, I just want to write. But it’s good. It can all keep me from whining obnoxiously about the dark, cold season of too much tinsel and party pressure.
(Speaking of parties… The Almost Dancer is coming in November with means LAUNCH PARTY PLANS ARE UNDERWAY! Make sure you’re on the mailing list!!)