I don’t really know how to explain this, but…
I fucking hate October, dudes. I hate it for a multitude of reasons that are not rational or reasonable. If October was a building, I would set it ablaze and watch while it turned to ash with a smug grin knowing that it would never rear its ugly head at me again.
You know, September is nice. The leaves begin to change and you can tread softly among them, still having enough of summer left inside of you to keep warm. September brings change, and with that changes comes routine. The school doors open and the radio blares, telling drivers to slow down to 30 km/h to protect our most precious investment. There are people in big, comfortable sweaters with beads of sweat on their foreheads because it’s still t-shirt weather, but they’d rather embrace autumn before it takes them by surprise. September is the month in which you can have a slurpee and a latte in the same day because the possibilities are infinite.
Then there’s October.
For most people, October means pumpkins and candles that smell like pumpkins. October means scarves and boots. October is the breath they allow to escape from their lips and watch it dance through the crisp evening wind. It brings screeching, healthy babies in delivery rooms and “Santa comes in 2 and a half months, mommy!” Yes, it would seem that there is a lot about October that is worth celebrating.
But I can’t bring myself to do that.
I can’t bring myself to do that because the October I see brings a bitter prairie wind to remind me that all that is living and vibrant will soon be no more. The leaves beneath my feet crunch, and I find myself strategically stepping over them because the sound isn’t a happy one; they’re fucking dead. October usually brings the first snowfall, and what’s wrong with that, you ask? It’s a sloppy, wet, dirty snowfall. I don’t build snowmen or make angels or frolic about. The first snowfall is there to warn me of the silence that will soon take hold; a silence that I am never prepared for. Whatever is left standing is killed by October, and I’m left with the memory of what was. I’m Canadian, so October means thanksgiving, and thanksgiving means putting on my biggest, most comfortable sweater and my biggest counterfeit smile while I pretend that October didn’t kill me, too. I always plan what Halloween will look like, but I can never decide which monster inside of me would win the contest, so I end up avoiding it altogether.
How completely and utterly morbid, right?
Just around the corner looms winter, and I’m okay with winter, too. I become accustomed to the brisk air. I appreciate the rosiness that covers my cheeks and the end of my nose. I make my peace with the stillness and start to think about what was in a nostalgic manner, entertaining the idea of what will be again. I recognize the seasons as a delicate and necessary pattern, and I leave October behind, jumping on the train of possibility, the train of hope. So it goes, and so it goes.
I wanted this year to be different- I really did. I wanted to laugh so hard that everyone could see my gums. I wanted to smell a pumpkin spice candle and remember how much I love the odor without the sadness that lingers long after it is gone. I wanted to dance over the leaves and hear nothing but a beat to match the tune in my soul instead of the sound of voices breaking and bones cracking. Despite my best efforts, it hasn’t been easy. I still hear goodbyes, feel the tightness in my chest and see the wilted leaves.
But guess what? I’m here, right now, writing this. This is the first year that I’ve been able to tell you, and everyone else, what October means to me. This is the first year that I have allowed October to cut me open and bleed me out, dripping the words into the post I’ve just written. I have to believe that it’s the first step. (You know, if ya wanna get over it, go through it, yadadayayaya.) This is not my favourite month, and I don’t imagine that it ever will be, but maybe next year it won’t seem so lonely and hateful. Maybe this is my way of taking back October.
After all, there’s still 16 days left. Maybe October will surprise me.