Skip to content

Kushi Kutah

I felt it. That cold sort of warm breeze that harkens the beginning of autumn. I don’t know if it’s because all the kids started school on Tuesday or if they’ve just naturally timed it that well, but it’s as though with the first appearance of a yellow school bus, all the trees drop their leaves, the ice starts to form on the puddles and the craft shows multiply like used condoms in the park behind a Catholic high school.

My neighborhood isn’t quiet anymore. During the summer, it has the appearance of a ghost town of sorts. It reminds me in a way of how it must have been in the 1940’s, with all the young men gone to war, only it’s not just the young men but also the young women. When I walk, it’s just me, the retirees, and the crazy bell guy who rides around on his bike, ringing his bell the entire time.

I haven’t been walking this week. I sprained my ankle screwing around in the pool. I cannonballed when I should have possibly stepped lightly down the stairs. Thus I haven’t had to fight the throngs of back packs walking to the high school two blocks away. They make me feel old anyway.

And it’s not just the back-to-school circulars and the nip in the weather. Football is starting this week. That’s the bridge that takes us into January, when the car will take fifteen minutes to heat up and I fully appreciate my spouse’s natural body fur and his unbelievable propensity to generate body heat.

I flipped my pretty black and white 1940’s New York photo calendar in my office to September yesterday. It’s now so heavy that it pulls the thumbtack out of the wall. I just can’t get it to stick up there. It’s enough to make me cry.

But at the same time, I’m not sad. I do enjoy fall. It’s actually my very favorite season. I love the smell of leaves, of cider apples, of the furnace turning on for the first time. I like the feel of heavy shoes, shoes that can withstand ice and sleet and never let you slip. I like the way that your breath turns white and the sky gets impossibly clear at night. I even love sitting on the sofa with my big Man Socks pulled up past my knees, listening to the wind while we watch some favorite movie on the television. I love the way the air smells when the Wood Chopping Neighbor burns his sexual frustration and I can smell it from my front porch as I fumble for the correct key to open the door. I love that.

But it also speaks of projects forgotten, of plans never laid. It makes you want to gather your rosebuds while you may and other metaphors capable of being embroidered upon a cross-stitch sampler. It makes me want to start knitting again, even though it’s so trendy right now that it makes me want to purl. I mean, hurl.

I like my shoes though. My Doc Martens are magical shoes. They still look incredible, even though they are five years old and I wear them every winter. I should buy another pair but half of me is being stubborn that I only want to buy them in the store in Covent Garden, where I have to do size conversions and worry about VAT issues. They make me feel very stable, as though I could walk through broken glass or perhaps an oil fire. Aside from a small scratch along the left toe, they are still nearly perfect. Also I could totally kick someone’s ass with these things. They weigh a pound apiece. They made my suitcase fall to one side, forcing me to carry one throughout Gatwick Airport and then through Detroit’s hellhole, but it was a labor of love. I earned these magical shoes.