why I love fall (its not PSL, sweaters, or boots)
It always creeps up on me, while I’m washing my shorts, preparing myself for another blistering week of 100% humidity. Telling myself, “I’m getting used to this. No AC in my car is training me for Africa, or South America.”
And all at once, we wake up cold, and put our clothes back on. I haven’t checked the weather in days. All at once, its 59 degrees.
Autumn rushes into my bones, into my nostrils, up my spinal cord. I start to smell things that I haven’t smelled since I’ve been happy. I guess it was about this time, last year. The smells don’t make me sad. Its not that I miss them. I just remember them well. My house, a new house, is registering in my thalamus, trace amounts of old smells, dingy, party weeks, smoking inside, bongs on the mattress, week old Sonic cups. And I just cleaned.
The truth must be, that these smells don’t exist. These smells didn’t time travel to 5 years later, to now. Fall means holding on, and hoping. Hoping all that is good can make it through another winter. That your body can stand it. Its the last of the good, the tolerable, the comfort. It is a transition season, it is the very end.
So I’m hyper aware. I rip off my skin and allow myself to drink in every sensation with all of my senses. In 2 months, I’ll never want to leave my warm cocoon. I love being outside. The air doesn’t sting yet, my nose isn’t dripping, my muscles are okay. Its just hard nipples, hot tea on the porch, and being so content in this very moment. Enjoying it while it lasts. This is why when 59 degrees slaps me in the face, mid September, my mind regurgitates so many smells, and feelings of hope. Every Fall, I actively drink it all in. I soak up every detail. Every Fall I prepare a scrapbook of smells, sights, feelings, all sensations, desires, fears. Then, the next year, like a prompt timer, my mind digs out the memories. Its working.