I drove home with the windows down. That inexplicable change in the air that all know as the first sign of autumn, a change more than the weatherman’s metrics measure, of more than temperature or humidity or wind, had drawn me backwards through my life into the Octobers of late childhood, when birthdays, Halloweens, jackets with patches, and early, splendid sunsets brought to my chest a rising feeling which even then I knew was a euphoria I’d recall for my entire life.
Some years I feel that change in the air and it is as though I am living many years at once, as though my childhood now occurs again concurrent with my adulthood, and I am supremely happy. Driving home, I nearly shook with happiness.
I thought of how much I love you. It isn’t often that I think this way; generally, your presence is the unending, unnoticed assumption: you are always there, and it is on top of you, through you, beneath you that the stuff of my life is scattered. My attention is drawn to the froth and scum on your waves.
-and it is often worse, because I am an ordinary man and inclined to seek out the source of my problems as far from their actual origin as I can, to start the war on my miseries across the world so I won’t have to fight them here, so to speak, and to remotely attack whatever incidental features you possess as safe-havens for what grates, depresses, upsets, and restrains me, even though I and you know that I am the only safe-haven for my despair and anger, and I am the source of all of my problems-
-I blame you, cursing the clouds for my moodiness, thundering at the rain for interfering with my modest habits, shouting that I wish I could kill the diseases that nourish themselves in my body, kill the ants that bite me for my food and footsteps, kill the grasses that grow high around my little wooden house, kill everything that subverts my geometrical order, my symmetrical obsessions, the smoothly efficient running of my errands. I blame you for the death that comes to all, for the entrails that spill from prey, for the hatchlings eaten in the nest, for the trees starved of light by their own kind, for the suffering we endure, inflict, accidentally engender, fail to prevent. I blame you for the unfairness of your gifts: the beauty concentrated here, the plenty concentrated there, the strength elsewhere, the peace somewhere else; I even detest the wind, that most basic sign of instability and unfairness: air rushing to find its equilibrium, to settle evenly, and never able to do so.
But as I was driving home I looked up through the boughs stretched over the deserted streets, the darkening colors of sunset behind them, the branches seeming to crack in the mild breeze, and I thought to myself: for once I should try, even though I lack the sense or diction for it, to write something nice to the world, since it is, despite my distemper and foolish insistence on comparing it to some imagined perfection which would surely be less perfect, utterly beautiful.