It’s disappointing when the weather turns fall-like stat the
second Labor Day ends and kids head back to school because it only encourages
the “summer’s over” set with their sweaters, boots and tights and boo
hoos about no more beaches. I’m pretty sure it will be back up to the 80s next
week (and reached 79 by the time I got around to finish this and post it) and
we can put this premature spate of cool air behind us.
It’s my favorite weather. Crisp and sunny. It’s good
sleeping weather. Too good. I can use my sheets and comforter again. Yet it
seems that everyone else finds autumn depressing. Dying leaves, sure, earlier
sunsets, but we’re not there yet. This is the inbetween time. The best time. A
friend said it was about the dread of going back to school when you’re a kid.
The same friend said another friend said it was about death. A coworker said
it’s about her kids heading back to school , one off to college for the first
time, making her sad.
It was weird for a while, post-college, that September was
just September with no stops, starts or breaks for eternity. And maybe if you graduate at 21 and then have
kids in the next five years or so, you never get the chance for September to
lose meaning and fade into a month like any other. I haven’t felt anxious about
September in at least a decade.
The shift away from summer to me feels like an adventure
bubbling under the surface like you might be on the verge of greatness. This is
what makes me depressed, though, because it’s just a feeling. There won’t be
any adventures or greatness.
Light sweaters, still bare legs, long shadows, also make me
feel like I should go to Montreal on a road trip. I associate early fall (which it’s not
yet–I’m just speculating on this Saturday where I’m able to close the windows
half-way and still not sweat) Quebec, probably the result of my first trip
there 14 Octobers ago. I’ve never been to Montreal in the summer (Toronto once
over 4th of July, though). I could plan my own adventure for next month, though
I’m not confident about driving anymore, the train takes a hundred years (ok,
eleven hours) and flying is fast (3 hours) but disproportionately expensive ($425
nonstop–it’s cheaper to fly to the west coast). I might also be confusing
adventure with nostalgia. Nostalgia is dangerous. It’s also the epitome of
autumn. Maybe that’s why everyone hates this time of year.
I could also just re-learn to ride a bike. There’s a whole
City Bike rack just a block away. I haven’t ridden one in at least 20 years,
and I’m kind of scared to death (not that I would get killed but that I don’t
know how to do it right or where the paths or best routes are and end up road
raged by another bike even). That would be an nostalgia-free adventure.
I accidentally watched Autumn in New York for the first time
a few Saturday nights ago. Spoiler alert: Winona dies, which is awesome, especially
since I in no way approve of a 29-yearold woman dating a man who is 51, or at
least this particular 29/51 duo. It’s kind of ’90s in that cuspy way even
though the movie is technically 2000. If you think fall is depressing, watch
this movie because it will make you laugh. True Blood’s Sam Merlotte is in it,
so is Norma Bates of the bad, new Bates Motel. Winona Ryder’s voice in this
movie sounds like the talking cat in The Future, which I watched the following
Saturday night just to make sure I was right.
(The following Saturday night, last weekend, I caught part of Beginners, which I’d already seen, written and directed by Miranda July’s husband. The Future is the kind of movie you could really hate, whimsy, could be used on both of them, but Beginners was the one that’s too cloying and literal. It’s more of how I’d make a movie if I was capable of such things. I’ve now had a week to think about being less cloying and literal, but it’s impossible.)