It is time for my annual Fall Freak-out, or Autumnal Anxiety or whatever you want to call it. Some of you, perhaps, have not oriented your whole being towards the weather and what is happening to the trees on the hills on either side of my house, in which case, I commend you for having better things to do and organizing your minds in a functional and reasonable way. But we all need our little idiosyncrasies. Some of you may obsess over the internet, or what you’re going to eat a week from now, or where that next skein of yarn is coming from. Me, I shake my fist at the sky and explain to God that if the trees turn the wrong color I may give up being a Christian at all.
The origins of this obsession are that, for a long time, in my superannuated loathing for Binghamton, the leaves changing in a right and proper way was all I had—if it was gorgeous, somehow I could survive the winter, whereas if it was drab and brown, I would remind myself of that fact as the snow fell and the gray overcame everything. I see now, in retrospect, that I could have just gone and bought one of those sun lamp things, and that I should have always been taking big heaps of vitamin D in pill form. I don’t know how people find out these things in a timely manner. It just seemed to me that the purpose of living in this windswept wasteland was to suffer, that’s just what it was for. Which kept me in a constant state of wonderment about why people live here at all.
Anyway, one of the ways I knew 2020 was going to be bad, is that last year the autumnal colors were terrible. Everything went brown and fell to the ground. The light—which is the distinguishing marker of October and November—did not glow, luminescent and shimmering, through gem-like leaves. There was not a breath-stopping moment as you drove down the ugliest stretch of strip-mall-encrusted highway, to catch you out of your ennui and remind you of any kind of glory. It was, as I said, terrible, and a deep sense of foreboding clouded my forecasting eye.
That was the moment we should have all seen that 2020 must be destroyed. But no one likes a Cassandra, and so no one agreed to skip an entire year and go on to better things.
Now, however, there is hope. The glorious tree outside my window is not going brown—it is glistering in orange and yellow and those deep shades of green before the blush of lustrous death dawns. Every street is ablaze with brilliant red and orange. There is nary a brown leaf in sight. It’s such a relief! I feel that I may be able to cope for the winter, even if other sundry bad things happen.