Autumn: The Silent Killer

8 10 2010

My problem with Fall, as a season, is my problem with its function.  Of course, all anything is is its function, so I suppose that sentence is useless, rendering this one equally without worth.  I’ll start from zero, then.

Fall approaches from out of nowhere like an old friend whom you’ve been wishing to see for some time but of whom you had completely lost track.  You’re caught in the long, hot days of summer and the frantic daily routines that accompany—for in summer, much can be done with the added daylight and freedom from worry about frostbite—and one day, without warning, you walk outside in your short sleeves and are taken aback by a chill you’d forgotten was possible.  You hop back inside and pick up a hoodie; Fall has arrived!  And what a wonderful surprise it is.  You get to wear warmer, but still light, clothing that had been in the back of the closet for ages.  You can go for a jog without concern over heat exhaustion.  The crisp night air feels amazing in your lungs, and you are able to enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities that only days before seemed like a terrible chore requiring a shower immediately following.

And so we count our blessings to have run into Fall again.  The pretty leaves and dry armpits delight us.  We are so glad to be free from the tyranny of the full brunt of the sun!

But Fall makes me nervous.  I fully partake of the joys of the season, and there are many, but no time of the year wears a better mask for the devil within.  Spring slaps you in the face with emergence.  It’s something from nothing.  It’s magic and life and wind and allergies.  Summer beats you down with its relentless heat.  Winter lowers a curtain over the life of our world and keeps us isolated indoors from its quiet, dry, frigid air.  But Fall.  Fall approaches with the promise of reprieve.  It slides its arms around us, rubs our shoulders and promises that everything is going to be okay.  And it slowly, nimbly, cunningly tightens its grip until it is choking the life out of everything around us and we are in the sleeperhold of (seasonal) impotence.

The leaves, once so alluring and beautiful at the hands of Fall, tumble and cover the ground, blocking the weakened sunlight from the grass, and stay there, rotting.  The brisk air is suddenly heavy and biting.  The reprieve from excessive sweating morphs into a need to constantly apply moisturizer as the air robs our skin of its vitality.  And when it has finished slowly sucking the life out of the world, Fall leaves us in the unforgiving, steely arms of its hidden employer, Winter.

If I sound like I may be giving too harsh a review, let me say this:  Fall murders everything with a friendly smile on its face.  Now it should be clear that I’m blatantly decrying the name of the rudest of the seasons.

In full disclosure, I’ll admit that I love Fall.  It feels great.  It is a terrific break from the heat of summer.  I get extremely excited to be able to enjoy hot cocoa again.  But Fall is the most fickle of the seasons.  It inevitably breaks my heart and leaves me in the care of the dead season.  In short, Fall is the best season, the easiest to love, but while you’re appreciating it, it is speeding you through its pleasures without allowing your relationship to blossom.  It always lets you down too soon.  Its ephemerality is its true character.  If you can enjoy Fall without learning to count on it, you’re in good shape.

Autumn.  I hate you for the same reason I love you.

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2 responses

10 10 2010
moldy

i never saw it that way man. i’ll perhaps never love fall in the same way again. b/c i now also hate fall as much as i love him/her. you’ve changed me forever. and that’s not easy to do to someone. oh fall! you are a harsh mistress! but you are my fat asshole. . .i mean mistress. he brew?

10 10 2010
moldy

i also want to add that i LOL’d my ass off while reading this.

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