I’ll tell you, man, growing up sucks. Your odds on long term survival get worse the older you get, that’s just statistics. You have to support yourself, and more than likely you’re working a job that wasn’t quite your first choice. You’ve got to pay the bills, and maybe you’re working more than the recommended forty hours a week. Maybe your body is breaking down because of all the wear and tear you put on it when you were younger. That’s if you’re anything like me, that is. See, much as I love my adopted city of New York, greatest in all the world, it’ll press on you hard, as I’ve mentioned here on the site before, many a time. You’ve got to stay sharp, you’ve got to stay on the grind, and you’ve got to kick like a demon to keep your head above water. But where in the world isn’t it like that? Sure, there’s plenty of places where the pressures aren’t in your face every moment, but they’re there in your life just the same. There’s no existence that comes without hardship, and if you’ve lived a life that’s entirely free of stress, then brother, you’re either one in a million, or you’re deluding yourself.
But if there’s one thing that’s sure to shake you out of your doldrums, it’s a crisp, clear day in early fall. Much like the first appearance of spring after a crushing East Coast winter, being out and about (not on a work day, mind you) when the leaves have just started to change but it’s still plenty warm at midday is a pretty nice prospect. You’ve got the yellows and oranges and reds rubbing up on the green in the trees, and it’s been cold during the night but it’s tee-shirt weather now. The ghosts and goblins are showing up on the porches, and it gets you thinking about cider and candy corn and maybe some dark imported beer to go along with Sunday’s football game. It gets you thinking about the baseball postseason, and hey Pittsburgh, how about your Pirates going to the dance for the first time in twenty-one years? It gets you thinking, well, I guess I’m too tall and I’ve got too much gray hair for trick or treating, but I can still get dressed up and go raise hell in the Village, can’t I? You can’t do that when you’ve still got a strict bedtime! This is the time when the closing of the year is still drifting on the horizon somewhere, and you’re just approaching the holiday alley. On TV they start playing the thirty days of Halloween scary movie marathons that I love so much, and people start turning their mind for the one time a year that it’s permissible to the macabre and the frightening and deranged…the stuff my brain dwells on for way more than a few weeks out of the year. It’s a time this year to celebrate Megan’s thirtieth birthday, and I can’t think of a better place to do it than Atlantic City! It’s a time for celebrating the birth of my new nephew, Ezra, the little guy giving this old world a spin for the very first time. It’s a time for hoodies and jackets in the evening, a time for hats and gloves, a time to wrench the little air conditioner out of the window and stow it in the closet once again. And it’s a time to be inundated with relatives…visitors in plenty over the next month.
It’s a time to remember all the many, many publications that have rejected my writing this year. I remember everybody who gave me a chance, and I’m mindful of everybody who didn’t, too. Especially the ones who won’t pick up my stuff, but still want me to buy copies of their rag. Small chance of that, I’d wager. And it’s a time to get back to work, because time waits for no one, and these stories won’t write themselves, no matter if no one publishes them or not. So I’m off, while there’s still a little greenery out there and the sun’s still a little bit warm. Enjoy fall, everyone. More soon.