Is It Fall Yet?
Is it fall yet? Can I wear cardigans and jeans and sweaters and stop feeling so exposed all of the damn time? Can I switch from sangria to whiskey and spend nights in my warm bathtub listening to jazz and feeling really elegant?
Is it fall yet? Can I dump my airhead summer fling who looks great in a tank top and trade him in for a fall boyfriend—someone who will drink coffee with me and talk about gender norms and Kim Kardashian and lay in bed for a long time and create a little cocoon of comfort? Can I have boring sex and great conversations?
Is it fall yet? Can I start to feel the anxiety of Halloween plans and what I should be? Can I spend too much money on a costume the day before and ultimately decide to stay in and watch scary movies instead? Can I just hate Halloween?
Is it fall yet? Can I take pictures of myself in the foliage and post them on my Facebook with the caption “OMG. FALL.” Can I make an album and call it “fall fuzz” and have photos of hot chocolate and pumpkins? Can I talk about how much I love the weather even when I’m choosing to stay indoors because it’s, like, too cold?
Is it fall yet? Can I start feeling nostalgic for things I never even experienced like bobbing for apples and going to haunted houses? Can I miss trick or treating and resent that my only option on Halloween is to dress like a whore and get wasted? Can I marvel at how the meanings of holidays change as you get older? Can I miss the innocence of getting sick on too much candy instead of alcohol? Can I miss my mommy?
Is it fall yet? Can I begin to feel nervous about Thanksgiving and Christmas and seeing my family and being reminded of how much things have changed and how much they haven’t? Can I feel old and miss being excited about presents? Can I tell my dad to go screw himself and then raid the medicine cabinet?
Is it fall yet? Is it time for me to go back to my hometown and run into people I didn’t care about it in high school and I certainly don’t care about right now? Can I feel overwhelmed by the realness of everything and being faced with the reality of time passing? Can I just go back to my city and my life and feel okay again?
Is it fall yet? Can I miss you now? I only really miss you in this season, which is weird but maybe it’s because the leaves always stun me like love. I want to lie in my bed listening to that one song that makes me feel warm and think of you.
Is it fall yet? Can I feel like an adult now living in my own apartment and living my own life during a season that’s meant for parents and their children? Can I make Hot Toddy’s before bed and feel like I’m becoming the person you taught me to be? Can I eat some damn pumpkin pie?
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”