500 days of autumn

Yesterday was officially the first day of autumn, which, in Ohio, means that even though it was 91 degrees today, there’s a strong possibility that I might wake up tomorrow to 3 inches of snow. The only thing I really hate about fall is that sometimes it feels like it barely exists because Ohio always seems so anxious to jump the gun right to agonizingly awful wintertime straight from horribly hot and suffocating summertime. Fall just means that winter is right around the corner, and as much as I honestly do appreciate the season changes, Ohio winters are just miserable. But, other than its suggestion of the impending doom of winter, I’d have to say that fall is probably my favorite season. When the weather first started changing a few weeks ago, I wanted to write an entry about how much I love autumn, but then this week the weather continues to be in the fucking eighties and nineties, which kind of makes me wish that summer would just die already so I can get on with it.

This summer…well, this summer sucked. I mean, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, I guess. My dog didn’t die, and I didn’t end up working at an Abercrombie & Fitch warehouse again, and my mom and I didn’t strangle each other, and I didn’t have to drain my savings account to buy a new car, and I didn’t hook up with some poor sonofabitch in an attempt to forget about the heartbreak, and I didn’t drive Big Sal off of a bridge (even though I thought about it…a lot). But still, as far as summers go, it was pretty shitty. Definitely shittier than last summer, which probably takes the cake for the most unproductive summer of my life, but was also the quintessential bohemian summer where I lived rent-free in the back apartments of an ex fraternity house with some of my best friends, where we did nothing but drink Labatt Blue tall boys and play Disney power hour and listen to awesome music because we didn’t have TV, and the most distressing thing that happened to me all summer was when I got Lamar’s hot sauce in my eye and he tried to remedy it by having me dip my head in a giant bowl of water, which didn’t work, so finally I ended up washing my eyeball out with milk while he and Deitz laughed hysterically at the picture they took of me dipping my head in the bowl of water. A valuable tip, if you ever get hot sauce in your eye – milk is the only cure.

Honestly though, other than the breakup, this summer has been okay. But unfortunately, my sadness from the breakup was kind of all-encompassing, and it made it hard to enjoy any of the good things that were going on, because no matter what I was doing, or planning, or thinking, in the back of my mind he was always there. And when I say was, I mean is. Because while I think I’ve started doing a better job of pretending like things are okay and distracting myself with weekend trips and blogging and daydreaming about finding a better job in a new city where I can begin again, the truth is that I still don’t really feel like myself. And I don’t really want to begin again. And while I’m trying really hard not to do the LiveJournal thing where I whine about my unrequited love here, I also find it hard to really focus on anything enough to write about it without it inevitably coming back to him somehow.

For example, this post started out being about how much I love fall. I love sweatshirts and apple cider, and how the air feels crisper and the sunlight looks different, and I love pumpkin flavored Whit’s frozen custard. And you know that sound that dried leaves make when they’re scuttling in the wind across the sidewalk? I love that. I love scarves, and bonfires on chilly evenings, and getting nostalgic thinking about jumping in leaf piles as a kid. And at the risk of sounding kind of corny, I think fall will always be a special season to me because it reminds me of Amsterdam and my semester abroad. I think of sunsets on the balcony of Funen, and working up a sweat biking to Haarlemmerstraat and the park beyond it, and specifically the day that I spent alone in Salzburg, when Allison and her high school friends went on The Sound of Music Tour and I opted to explore the city by myself because, well, The Sound of Music just isn’t my bag. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I lost all the pictures I took that day, which makes me sad because that was one of my absolute favorite days. I spent most of the afternoon strolling down a gorgeous red and orange tree-lined bike path that was parallel to the river, and watched the sunset and the hangliders drifting down the mountainside from a perfectly placed bridge across the water. It was maybe the most peaceful I’ve ever felt, and was a day that really helped me to learn the value of solitude.

My friend posted this video on Facebook a couple days ago, and I thought it was really cute because it reminded me a lot of the three months that I lived in Amsterdam. I spent a lot of time flying solo when I was abroad, and I really learned to appreciate my loneliness in a way I never had before. I think solitude is important, but as much as I like the message of that video, when it comes down to it the truth is still that I don’t like being alone. And not just in the “single girl” sense, because really, I always liked being single, and last fall when this all started happening, I didn’t want a relationship because my friends were enough for me. And isn’t it ironic, that even though I didn’t want the relationship in the first place, that now I’m the one who is begging to have it back? The theme of this summer was irony, which is why I’m ready for it to be over so that I can quit dwelling on the fact that I have ten thousand spoons when all I need is a knife….and isn’t it ironic? Having a Victoria’s Secret credit card and no reason to buy new lingerie? And the fact that I can’t even open my godamn underwear drawer to get dressed in the morning without getting depressed about all those lacey panties I bought and never even wore, because what’s the point? For the record, that’s actually not ironic, because Alanis Morisette needs a lesson in literary terminology, but I still love that song, so I guess I can forgive her.

So I would say, here’s to fall and moving on! – except that now, when I think of autumn, I just think of 500 Days of Summer and I wonder how long it will take him to replace me, the lover of little faith, and how maybe I should spend more time reading Dorian Gray in delis so that someone new can find me (and oddly enough, I am actually reading Dorian Gray right now, but I swear it’s not because I’m husband hunting). And when I think of fall I wonder, who will watch scary movies with me in preparation for Halloween? Gretchen is too chicken, and even though I’m sure she would hold my hand in the haunted house, convincing her to even go with me in the first place will be the hard part. And what used to be my favorite holiday will now only remind me of how Halloween last year was the first time I noticed him, like in the way you look at someone that you’ve seen a million times before and you all of a sudden see them in a new light. And plus he had the BEST costume, except for maybe mine and Gretchen’s Jay and Silent Bob because it was probably the only thing that was as uncanny as his resemblance to Edgar Allan Poe.

So yeah, I’m doing the thing I said I wouldn’t and couldn’t do and I’m writing about this shit, because I realized that I’m probably going to go completely bonkers if I don’t get it out of my head somehow, and I can only imagine how tired all my friends are of hearing about it, and how they’re probably all thinking to themselves, as I ramble away and pretend like it’s alright when clearly it’s not, Man, her cheese is slowly sliding off her cracker…

And yes, I did steal that, and no, I’m not sorry, because as the brilliant Oscar Wilde once said, “quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.”

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