Gray Weeds

October 5th, 2013

“Cos this winter looks like it’s gonna be another bad one
But Spring’ll soon be here,
Oh God I hope it’s not late.”

The Roof Is Leaking by Phil Collins

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I could feel it sneaking up on me.

On days like today, too, where it’s 17 o’clock in the afternoon, the sun cashes in its chips and heads south early, as if there’s something even he or she would rather be doing than warding off the darkness. October fades to winter and we here in the North can’t do a darn thing about it.

Vague, un-formed emotions poked at me from the edges or scampered through my dreams. Little things became enormous bogeymen. Ambiguity about self and future continually phoned my land line, offering to sell me their narrative. The weeds flourished. My funky heirloom tomatoes were a bust, ergo, I suck at everything.

I thought maybe it was the government shutdown that was making me gray. Other misguided guesses were my lack of new and original writing, an emptier house, too many caffeinated milkshakes, the end of Breaking Bad or some of the really lousy new fall TV shows. But no, it was simply the season itself.

Then everything happened. Playoff baseball, our football teams started winning, my wife and I clicked our relationship back into place, our house filled with my daughter’s friends, my cousin and I had a tremendous conversation about living as 50-year-olds. And suddenly I remembered that the autumn shutdown happens every year; the GOP has nothing on Mother Nature.

Even the DVR proved helpful as we watched one new sitcom that held a bit of promise (Mom, starring Anna Faris and Allison Janney deals with multi-generational addiction and even has a Breaking Bad actor on its cast — Badger plays Baxter.) Brooklyn Nine-Nine is another show that’s still pretty funny after several episodes.

I can now walk outside and not try with all my might to hold onto something as fleeting as summer. Winter’s coming but it brings reunions, holidays, birthdays, warm baths, excuses to stay in bed and best of all, the promise that Spring is sneaking up on it, ready to kill it with the kindness of flowers, sun, warmth and hope.

It’s only just begun and Winter might do a number on me yet, but hopefully it will also work its evil magic on all those weeds who chose late September to attack.

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