Wednesday, October 28, 2015 12:49 PM
Walking outside in the drizzle this late in October (Halloween is Saturday) I feel a chill yet I don’t need a jacket—it’s a short walk—just long enough to see the thick golden blanket of leaves on the lawn, the swirl of leaves falling through the breeze in the trees, and hear the whispered rustle of so much paper-like shuffling it becomes its own white noise. All summer long the trees had been uniformly green—now they each display their true natures—dark crimson, golden yellow, or faded sunset orange—and the leaves leave the trees, filling the air and carpeting the ground, gathering in wind-blown piles.
All yesterday the neighborhood ached with the high groans of leaf-blowers—today’s light rain leaves me the joy of autumn’s delicate hiss, unsullied. I know I am old because I no longer sense the aroma of mimeograph ink in the smell of fall’s foliage and moldering breath—even a passing school bus makes me ponder the driver’s sobriety rather than its sweat-stanky back seats—that’s how old and parental I’ve become.
Neither do I obsess over my costume or dream of pillowcases filled with candy—instead I dread the monotonous getting up to answer the door and sitting back down only to hear the bell again. But Trick-or-Treating has fallen out of favor in our modern age—so now the wearying chore becomes instead a long wait between rare interruptions—almost a relief as well as an annoyance. Where are the crowds of kids that wandered the local streets of yesteryear? Why do I feel my own age so sharply as the year itself comes to a close?