Most love Fall in New England, but I hate it. The rain. The cold. The leaves. The colors. It’s not picturesque to me. It’s just inconvenient. I prefer to be able to walk from my car into buildings without having to trudge through puddles and colorful leaves that have been turned to sludge. I don’t even really like apple cider, despite having worked at a diner which specializes in it since I was 16.
This particular Saturday night in October contained everything I hated about Fall in western Massachusetts. I felt my wheels skid twice on the drive away from the banquet hall in downtown Williamstown and it took me an extra 10 minutes to get out of town because of the tourists who were up from New York and Boston. I was buzzed and angry by the time I got onto the open highway and hit the gas, hoping I could make it home by midnight and get some sleep. I had to get up at 5:30 in the morning for work the next day where I had to tend to the tourists myself and fetch them fresh apple cider, so I needed to be fresh and perky.
The four gin and tonics I downed to tolerate the awful engagement party of a former high school classmate who I was barely ever friends with combined with the Miranda Lambert break up playlist pumping out of my speakers pushed my right foot heavy on the gas. I had to be going at least 15 over on the dark highway which stretched back to the isolated town I called home in the Massachusetts forest.
I didn’t fear the cops the way I should have. My dad was the head of the state patrol in our county and I maintained a blanket of good ol’ boy comfort which made me feel no office in the entire county would write me a ticket for “buzzed” driving or maybe even legit drunk driving.