October 1, 2018

wanting october

Once October was a morning recess in the inner courtyard of my middle school, and my new denim jacket, and the memory of forty-five degrees at ten in the morning and the exhilarating nip of a chilly breeze.  The morning is blue and purple in my memory, so alive that it joined words and numbers in having a color all its own in my mind.

October was the cassette player in my Pontiac T1000.  I was driving down the highway at nineteen years old with a Nanci Griffith cassette tape turned up, acting out her words ... "I could open up the window / and let in October / and roll up my sleeves in the rain."  The raindrops landed on my rolled-up sleeve cuff resting on the open window frame of the car door as I drove and sang.  I even shivered.

The arrival of summer is the descending of a burden, and October was once its lifting.  Sometimes a cold wind could revive me.  But now it is October and summer continues, takes it for its own.  Days will tick away and our weather will still be hot and sticky, displaced June, displaced season.  Lost sand through the neck of a precious hourglass.

I can't muster the feeling of being robbed, when the robber is so much bigger than me, so much more powerful, the gigantic heaviness of willful human ignorance in the face of climate change, the movement of sun and moon and all the space between them and us.  I can't even hold a feeble anger at the injustice, because what would be the point?

I can only want blue-purple crunchy-leaf October, and wait.


  1. I love your visual of October. In my head, there's a clock but instead of numbers, it that has months on it. And instead of going in the direction that a clock usually goes, it goes in the other direction. So October is where the number 15 would be on an ordinary clock. As far as I know, it's always been there in my head. Weird, huh? I wouldn't mind a little cooler weather either. However, sometimes it's colder here on Halloween than it is on Christmas. That's Texas weather for you. It's the insufferable humidity that's driving me a little nuts right now. A nice fall breeze and a little less humidity and it would be perfect. Go outside in the wee morning hours right as it's getting light, but before the sun has actually come up, and see if the sky isn't a beautiful color of purple blue-gray and you don't feel just a wisp, just a hint of the upcoming fall upon your cheek?

  2. I hope you know how stunning your writing is. It's ironic that such vivid prose can stem from emptiness.

    1. God damn it, you made me cry, Sarah. *hug*

    2. I read and love everything you've written since I found your site. Usually I just don't know what to say back, because you've already said it all so well. But just so you know I'm out here reading, and I'm a fan! <3