The first day of October

The first day of October

Perhaps 15 black ants drowned in the ice cream cone they thought would feed them. It’s the first day of October, and “Boys of Summer” comes on in my headphones. I’m dressed all in navy blue, and nothing is right.

I should be wearing…mostly black, with red check. Black sneakers, or boots. I don’t even have black boots. For so long I have wanted them, and somehow spent my money on anything but.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

I know there is no moral wrong in the fact that I’m between well fitting pairs of pants right now. My favorite jeans wore out in the crotch just last month, and none of my dress pants sit quite where they ought.

Just today I said, “we should decorate when we get home,” meaning for Halloween, and then I said, “I haven’t been quite in the spirit as much this year as usual. Maybe it’s because there are other things I want to spend my money on right now.”

“And it doesn’t feel like fall,” he said.

“It’s true,” I agreed. “It’s just like summer, but cold.”

The trees hadn’t changed, except for a few that had freaked out with that first cold snap at the beginning of September. The warmest day of the year had happened just that last week, breaking records for the time of year. This isn’t really about global warming, except to say it can make you feel awfully weird.

I haven’t quite worked out yet where my walk should fit in my new schedule, and I’m proud of myself for taking a walk today. I think about…I think about old people who can’t do it anymore. I don’t ever want the idea of a walk to be daunting. I’m not a health nut, but I don’t want to be infirm.

Thinking that makes me feel bad. People don’t choose infirmity. I mean, except some of them do, without ever meaning to. I just mean I don’t want to look back and say I could have avoided this…

Jesus makes you better, and sometimes it’s uncomfortable.

The cheap sunglasses I like keep breaking, and I’m wearing a pair of his, electric blue. I feel like they are somehow inherently wrong on me, though he tells me that other people can’t discern this. I feel like if someone were to comment on my appearance, they might say, “that portly fellow doesn’t look like he likes his sunglasses,” that’s all.

First I think, the child must have been alone, an adult would have made him pick up the ice cream cone. And then I think, isn’t that lovely, I’ve assumed the prosocial nature of others.

Are some ants cunning enough to drink from the icy shock of white vanilla without drowning therein? Had this been quite a scene the day before, and these just the ants unfortunate enough to like too much the sapor?

An ants’ parade would be a divine synonym for the cat’s pyjamas or the bee’s knees. Lovely, too, a tattoo of ants gone marching, one by one as in grandfather’s songbook.

Grandma wouldn’t cotton to these piercings, I think, or the skull tattoo that peeks out the top of most of my shirts. I want to strike these lines, and so, too, her death. Neither will be unwritten. Now no one will openly judge my appearance at family gatherings. Pale compensation.

So many flowers still thriving in their pots. I’m wearing a blue sweater I don’t really like, but some people are still in T-shirts. Some of the same will still be in T-shirts a month from now when they take their kids trick-or-treating. A still smaller set of these will still be in shirtsleeves a month thence at Thanksgiving dinner.

“Sweater weather,” the woman next to me in church said to me after services.

“Yes,” I said, “I wish it were always sweater weather.”

But it’s only just barely. It’s light sweater weather. It’s a heavy golf shirt, really. It’s a very light sweater.

These are the times you remember. What will happen. When she takes you by the shoulder and says, don’t you remember, soon this will all be white. Sometimes you’ll be trapped inside, and you’ll know what to wear every day for six months. Except that one queer day in February, you know the one. Don’t go shaving your head this year. It doesn’t turn out favorably.

And you say yes, I do, I remember all of it. Thank you, thank you for reminding me. I’ve got to take at least seventeen more walks, and read all those historical markers!

I walk past three crows and a squirrel all bounding about a yard. This puts a chill of fall in my step. This makes me feel like I’m wearing red check.

I did already buy a giant costume cat head. I have put some effort into Halloween. But I want another tattoo, and maybe a new violin. And honestly, it just doesn’t feel like fall, yet.

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