The Madwoman's Journal
Copyright 1998 New Moon
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  Prev 25 September 98

  It's cold as a refrigerator out there. I had to close the back door-- worse, I had to put on socks. It's only one night, but I'm afraid the summer is departing.

Apt turn of phrase that "I'm afraid." I used to look forward to fall, to cool, high blue days, the changing leaves, the frosty nights, the mists rising off the waters. But I was a little kid then, and over the years, too many bad things have happened to me at this time of year for me to feel anything but stomach-knotting apprehension when the first signs of "the turn," the Johnny Appleseed sunsets, appear towards the end of August. Since seeing that first clear blue day turning into a translucent blue sunset sky full of orangey-pink cirrus clouds, I've been wondering, What next will befall? Something rotten, I'm sure.

Over thirty years ago, my cat got hit by a car on a fall Saturday. Sometimes I still feel a twinge on a Saturday or when it's beans and frankfurts for dinner because that's when they told me. And my Candy dog died on a fall Saturday, too. She was very old, but I've missed her for many years now-- almost as many as I've missed Dad. Dad died in November-- on a rainy Tuesday. And there have been other kinds of deaths in the fall. Relationships ended, dreams killed. And now when fall comes, I remember all the bad things that happened then.

I spoke to my friend Melody about this a while back. Even though she lives in California, she has bad seasonal associations, too. She says that if we live long enough there won't be one day of the year that doesn't have a bad associatio--

Jeez, I thought the music system had gone into death throes. Turned out only to be the CD Traut/Rodby's The Duo Life. I haven't listened to it in a while, and cut eight Desert Air has some very quiet passages- and more than a few passages where the sound shifts dramatically between left and right speakers. I had to volume too low, and I thought the player or the speakers were cutting out. But things seem okay now. The Mambo Kings don't seem to be having any problems. Where was I? Ah, yes, bad associations.

No one can help acquiring some bad associations in life, the thing is you've got to stay on top of the situation and not let them attach themselves to "triggers." A few weeks ago when I felt the Autumn Apprehension again, I decided to do something about it: regroove my head.

I remember one September when I was in love, we went sailing, sailing, sailing. One October when I was in love, we spent a high blue day at the beach building sand castles. One magical November when I was in love, we walked on the beach in Cape May... and fall is the happy time of Touring Theatre, and horseback riding, and asters, and necklaces of horse chestnuts, and walks in the woods, and apple pies, and--

There are more good things than bad when I really think about it. And I'm going to make an effort to remember them from now on.




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