I hate September. Yes, I know that it’s still technically summer, but I’ve always considered September something like a harbinger of nightmares.

When I was a child, it meant that summer was over and school had begun. Today, it’s like the tip of a poisoned arrow. September creeps in on the heels of August’s humidity cloaked as a relief worker. But it’s a lie. September means more darkness than light, more work than play, more clothes than skin, more football than baseball, more inside than outside–and most of all, more cold than warmth.

My wife is from New Jersey. I’m from Florida. Her people love autumn and celebrate its arrival when the calendar flips to September. And why not? Autumn means outdoor festivals and pep rallies. It means soft gray smoke swirling from chimneys. It means pumpkin spice coffee and colorful foliage  and (oh my God!) most of all it means–GLORIOUS AMERICAN FOOTBALL!

I have a hard time embracing these token tradeoffs when I know damn well what comes next.

Awareness is a bitch.

Don’t you people get it? There’s only one way out of autumn. No matter how nice it seems, it always dumps you right in front of that spooky old shed out back where you’re forced to sit inside on the dirt floor with your knees pressed against your chin for three months as you blow into your hands–watching your breath quickly appear and disappear like memories of basking on the beach under golden sunlight the summer before.

Then, sometime in April, the earth tilts on its axis enough for sunlight to stream in through the dirty window onto your eyelids. You’ll stand and stretch and step outside; squinting into a pasture of clover. Your gray, ashy skin shrinking from the sunshine.

September. I’m not falling for it.



Jim Mitchem

The Candidate
The Rich get Richer and Kohl’s Really Doesn’t Care.

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.