Tuesday, October 18, 2011

All of my falls

Fall is every fall preceding it. I smell smoke and I am eight years old, walking down a country road to a friend's Halloween party. A dead leaf crinkles beneath my feet and I am clumsily holding hands with my father in our leaf-covered driveway, or holding hands with a lover on an important leaf-covered walk, or alone with the leaves, walking with my hands in empty pockets, shivering from the bitter chill of heartbreak and dreaming of an impossibly faraway spring when everything will be better.  When I see a clump of raked-up leaves I am in a dying Soviet park, jumping in a fresh pile right before a homeless man asks me for five cents.  I see a child making the walk to school and feel the butterflies of a new teacher and a new year. I see the fragmented memories of relationships and friendships from seasons long gone by.  I recall dreams that blossomed, greened, then shriveled up and fell to the ground, crunched on and broken to pieces by passersby.  Fall is the fading away and the reappearance of things that once were.  Thoughts and ideas in this season drift away from me in the cool breeze or become frozen, numb, motionless overnight.

But with the complexity of fall comes hope.  The crunched-up dreams will rest beneath layers of snow all winter long, nourishing the ground and making it green again when the right time comes.  My thoughts and ideas will return to me in another fall, inside another memory.  And next year I’ll have this fall to add to my collection of falls: one where my hands are always warm and my pockets are rarely empty.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Our wearisome weekend

Oh, our weekend, you ask?  Boring, really.  Uneventful.

We just went to a chilling thrilling outdoor showing of “Sleepy Hollow” with some friends who drank hot chocolate with us afterward while we crashed our remote-control helicopter into every hanging artifact in our tiny living room.

And we went to art class together and drew warthogs and hyenas and roosters and dragonflies that were holding very still for us in the university’s museum of dead stuffed animals.  And the teacher said he liked my wolf.

And we had dinner and dessert with neighbors we’ve never met then bonded so well that we planned a game night which we carried out on Sunday and which sealed our friendship as neighbors because no one got too mad when I expressed my desire to kick everyone’s trash at all games always.

And all we did was redo our bathroom completely by ridding ourselves of our antique pink rug and overly floral shower curtain to make room for brightly-colored forest creatures and a lime green toilet rug.

And we modestly planned our Hogwartlicious Halloween costumes while eating our favorite pita chips with our favorite hummus and marveling at African kudu hunters who skillfully hid from a man-eating leopard on Human Planet.

Then we just went to church and got asked to be emergency preparedness coordinators and we said yes because we can’t wait to learn how to be emergency prepared.

My weekend is possibly the boringest thing on the entire Internet at THIS MOMENT. With the possible exception of watching mussels grow: