It’s practically Fall and exponentially getting colder.
Fall means scarves and sweaters, doubled up socks in boots, and watching the leaves soar from the sky and crunch under my feet.
Fall means apple and pumpkin picking, hot coffees that steam up my nose, and throwing on an extra blanket before bedtime and cat snuggling.
Most chilly of all, Fall means the holidays are around the corner.
I distract myself with the first items, things that keep me warm and complacent, because I hate holiday season. Those first items act as a bubble, a barrier, between me and bad news.
Holidays bring me anxiety and panic attacks. Holidays bring me heaving sobs while driving on snowy roads. Any future good that could happen from November through December is erased by the cold holiday past.
How can I forget getting your call a day after Thanksgiving years ago while I was in college? “Hey Case,” you opened casually. “Did you find some place to have turkey?”
I was sitting in the Summit Hotel lobby on an antique-looking couch after leaving the church where Dave’s sister got married a half hour beforehand. I held my cellphone to my ear, quickly and numbly finished the call before heading to the reception hall.
Thank God for open bars.
How can I forget your call two days before Christmas four years ago? “You better come by and see Grandma,” you said. “She hasn’t been doing well.” And by “hasn’t been doing well,” you meant she had been in and out of the hospital for months. You meant she was checked into hospice. I luckily got to her hospital room in time to see her die.
Thank God for roommates who let you drink their alcohol over winter break.
As I was Christmas shopping last year, I called Ryan to find out what Grandpa might want for a present. Luckily for me, Ryan told me Christmas had been canceled by the evil (Grinch?) Uncle John. Go figure. So I finished my shopping a little less enthusiastically, wrapped the Christmas presents at home, and did a Santa Claus-style drop off on Christmas Day.
Don’t worry, I didn’t get you anything.
Hell, maybe this year will be different. We are kind-of talking, but nothing regular or in-depth. It’s lukewarm at best.
But for now, I’ll continue to check in- with the weather and you.