(Entry title cribbed from Richard Laymon’s novel Night in the Lonesome October)
I tend to get a little melancholy this time of year, and it usually lasts through October.Â I’m sure a lot of people get this way, feeling the seasons change around them,.Â I’m the opposite, though.
I get depressed because the seasons don’t change.
Growing up in Indiana, Autumn was the best season going.Â The wind picked up and cooled.Â The leaves turned marvelous shades of red and orange and gold, and the hills looked like they were on fire.Â The fair came to town, and I would gorge myself on carnie food.Â I’d watch a horror movie every weekend, always ending with my favorite, April Fools Day, on Halloween.Â There was Cincinnati Chili and White Castles to be eaten, and long nights at Frisch’s Big Boy, chowing down on burgers and hot fudge cake.
That’s October.Â That’s the way it’s supposed to be.Â Sure, there was one major problem: trick or treating took place during daylight on the Saturday before Halloween.Â How strange is that?Â Better yet, how stupid?
Still, that’s October!
Things are different in Austin, however.Â The air cools to around 85 degrees or so, and the leaves don’t change color until November, when they turn a color somewhere between caramel and ashes, then fall off the trees within the space of three days.Â I live in a big neighborhood, and we usually only get about five trick or treaters every year.Â While that does allow me to watch the Dawn of the Dead remake (which has replaced April Fools Day) uninterrupted, it’s still disappointing.
Okay, maybe the food’s an improvement.Â It’s not like you can get good barbeque, Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian, or Tex-Mex in Aurora, Indiana.Â Hell, it’s not like you can really get good food there at all (at least, you couldn’t the last time I was in town… 2003).Â Still, I often crave Cincinnati Chili and White Castles and Big Boy.Â You mention any of those to your average Texan, and you’ll get a shit-eating grin and a “That shit ain’t real food!”
Well, this shit ain’t a real Autumn.
Don’t get me wrong; I love Austin with all my heart.Â It’s my home, and my only regreat is that I didn’t get here sooner.Â Sometimes I miss October, though.
Sometimes that feels lonely.