Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Season.

Fall's out there. They're saying stove weather by the weekend. It was eighty today and still you could smell it, still you could wear your long sleeves home in the pickup through the late dry evening. Every day there's news, good news and bad news, but finally the news I'm ready for is no news, some blank sunny chilly days—and that's what they want to give us for Saturday and Sunday, and friends, I will take it, which is good, because that's what's forecast whether we're for it or not.

I want coffee and scotch. I want less to think through, more buttons to button. Hard summer. Hard late summer. Give us a new season, please. We're ready. I am, anyway. And hopeful. Which is how fall always makes me feel. I know spring is supposed to be that way. I've just always had it backwards. Probably always will.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Early Signs.

There's color high up in the sweetgums, a deep red, enough to be point-outable to The Toad on our walk to work, to school, to whatever you want to call it. They taught him to walk. Or we did. It takes a village. The child walks. The simplest of miracles. That and the leaves turning. He seemed interested, stared up into the crown of the neighbor's tree as we went under, said something that had more than one syllable in it. On my way back, walking without him, I saw that the maples on the other side of the corner have started up, too, are sliding orange at the edges. This is what I'll have to show him later on, once the church bells play the song that says come get these kids, they're yours. Chlorophyll, I'll tell him. Photosynthesis. Shorter days.

If it was this temperature but half as humid, a little breeze, a high blue sky, then all would be right. Or almost all.

The squirrels are so busy out there that if we were almanac-minded here at ANYLF Global HQ, we'd say cold winter, batten the hatches, buy extra firewood, order another flannel shirt. The dog's fur is coming back in fairly thickly. From up at my brother's farm my parents brought back reports of widely-striped wooly worms. Do with these pieces of information what you will, friends and fans of the long-term. Organize them. Use these vocabulary terms in a sentence.

Things I must do this week: Wait for the phone to ring, clean the gutters. Panic and prepare.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Not Back.

In its own way, summer returns, which makes sense, somehow, in this half-busted year. The new boots no longer hurt. The lawn was mowed, passive-voicedly, out in front of some late-evening rain. It's not yet midnight and the morning coffee's made—and waiting. The dishwasher's going. The Toad sleeps. The novel does what it does.

And let's celebrate the weekend's rain, inches and inches, dramatically underforecast by the forecast. We've been out of practice. We've spoken of ourselves in the plural first, for one thing, and may yet do it again. For another thing, it's humid. Nearly October and still we run the A/C hard. We're not saying the forecast is back. All we're saying is that fall's out there, somewhere, but not quite here yet in 2740X. That's all. That and a mowed lawn might for now be just enough.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

That Place.

Muggy, damp, and flood-watched: this is our punishment for early flannel and boots, for hoping, for thinking we knew when we were, season-wise. Is today fall? Is tomorrow? Somewhere in here is the equinox. We used to know for sure around here. Budget cuts. Apathy. Hope and possibility. Coffee. Lack of coffee. We are once again at the no-season, the space between, the place of not knowing, maybe never knowing. Christ in a bucket. In a juicebox. In a largeish container, bucketlike, of juiceboxes. The fancies say two inches of rain. Don't believe it. Believe one. Maybe a little more. But know: they've been missing, have been guessing high.

Goddamn, at least it's not August.

Still: It's these interstitials that knock us clean to the ground.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Boots.

Just past eight pm, mid-September. Late September, really. Warm, but still boots weather, sort of. I'm on the back porch with the new machine the puppet show forced on me, faster but worse than the old machine, as maybe all new machines always are. Beetles are landing on me. I've got the ballgame on, just waiting for the Braves' epic collapse to continue apace. I've got a little ice in the glass. There are bats. Crickets. A few cicadas. A few college kids celebrating their flexibility, their tolerance, their recovery time from injury. The nearly-next-door shriek-dogs are going, but we're not at the place I've always been with other dogs. These dogs are occasional. Perhaps this helps. The novel is out in the world. A few people are saying no. A handful of people are saying maybe. I don't sleep. The Toad sleeps. The Toad also walks. I am day-to-day and rest-of-life all at the same time. That's where I've been all summer, what's been wrong with me, what's kept me from the forecast. I missed Irene. I missed whatever all else came through since I hit save and hit send. It was almost cold enough Friday night for a fire. We held off. Now I'm counting the days, hoping, waiting—for news, for something, but surely also for fire, for frost, for hats and coats. I bought new boots. For the boots weather. Which we are now almost having. They hurt like hell. I'm wearing them anyway. Breaking them in. That's where we are.