Oh September how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. Three years ago, I gave my self three years to get over you, and still the days of this month are like the tolling bells of a plague I cannot release. Where once I relished in the cold nights snuggled under my down comforter, relished the changing of the closets, relished the returning of my favorite jeans, relished sandals with long pants, and popovers drenched with real maple syrup on cold Sunday mornings, now I find each day to be an exercise in a kind of fragile torture and wistful woebegones. I pull into work on a morning where one is not sure if the frost is dew and all I can think of is you leaning against your car coffee cup in hand, charming, so charming. I look for you, I cannot help myself. I squeeze my molars together feeling the pressure of them in my jaw when I see that you are not there. Why in the mornings? When you always waited in the afternoons. And why always in September? The leaves begin to fall and I remember your face as we left the therapists office, you drunk on your own decision to leave me. Me unawares. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Always hoping for the best, even when the punch has landed hard against my tender gut. September I remember the bed and the room on Cherry Street you saying lets get married on Friday. I said yes. I didn’t realize until later that it was my grandfather’s birthday, I thought it was a good omen. How cold that night was, me in my summer dress shivering, you quaking with fear in your Salvation Army jacket, fake leaves in an ugly bouquet, dollar store candles going out in hideous pumpkin shaped glasses. Uncomfortable in a Bed and Breakfast while your sister slept in our apartment. Sitting on the grass at the edge of Skaneateles Lake in the warm autumn sun watching it sparkle on the water and rushing your sister home because she decided instantaneously to leave. And us again in the Bed and Breakfast, we couldn’t even make love. I remember it was the owners birthday the same as my grandfather, I thought that was a good omen too. Pathetic. But it was ours. Or in retrospect it was all mine, when did you stop participating, exactly?
Each day is another deathiversary. This is the day you came home and I patted the spot beside me on the front porch and you sat down taking the cup of coffee from my hands to share the drink, and you told me you didn’t love me anymore. This is the day you said you would give it a year and counselling, and we went to Loews and picked out hideous red paint because it was called Spanish Tile, and the kildeer sang and the cardinal cried out and I thought that it was a message from my Dad and my Grandpa telling me it would all be okay. It wasn’t. This is the day that you looked at me with that piteous look, the I am leaving you and you have nothing to say about it look. This is the day I called Nomura and told him to check in on you because it was our anniversary later in the week. This is our anniversary. This is the day I sent you an email asking you if we couldn’t work it out. This is the day I knew you had someone else because you called me and left a message saying don’t ever call me again. This is the day. Bong. This is the day. Bong. This is the day. Bong.
Now here I am naked under my down comforter, cold face and cold hands but the rest of me warm, toasty. Except for my toes which were cold in sandals all day. Here I am listening to yoga chants, burning a candle and a stick of incense in prayer to my Gods. Here I am dog on my Popsicle feet, licking his own cold toes. Here I am wishing I had someone to hold me, naked. Here I am wishing I had someone to meet me at my car with a steaming cup of coffee in the crisp morning air. Here I am wishing for something I don’t have, for something I maybe never had. This is the day, this is the day.
September, September, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love the crisp mornings where I stand barefoot in the backyard tossing a stick to the unleashed dog from the cold stone of the veranda. I love the crisp nights where I sleep like a baby naked under my comforter. I love pulling out my favorite pair of Levis you never wanted me to wear and wearing them with the Birkenstocks I bought when you left me. I love getting into my big red car and driving fast while singing loud to songs you never heard me sing. I love dancing in the darkness, dancing naked and with abandon, you always laughed at my dancing, so I stopped dancing with you. How I love the first moment when I decide it is cold enough to make popovers. September, how I love the children who come tearing down the hall arms wide open wanting a hug. How I love thee September, with the hot tea I sip alone on the front step. Waiting for nothing, just enjoying the afternoon sun. How I love watching episode after episode of whatever series I am on. Falling asleep and waking up to rewatch them later. September how I love the cold nights windows wide open, my bedroom door open, cats coming and going and listening to the dog trying to steal something from downstairs.
September how I relish each day. This is the day I was set free, this is the day I learned a really important lesson, this is the day I burned sage and broke your ceramic bowl in the driveway, this is the day, this is the day. Let the bells ring joyful in the crisp autumn air.