October in my hometown feels like fall, but without the crunchy potato-chip leaves. There’s a certain day in October when the wind turns, bites and starts to bring in the cold. The wind becomes moody, happily shreds your lungs on the way in. It’s menthol candy wind, the kind that slaps a person awake.
That day, I think, was today. Today I brought my warmest jackets out of storage, shook out my scarves and rooted around my closet for my leg warmers. I also thought vaguely about cleaning my boots and stamping the mud out from the grooves of the soles.
Sometimes it rains and when twilight falls the world shrugs the eerie on, donning it like a fog cloak. The rains, I know, will stop soon, hushing quietly into the mountains. By October the cold has pretty much moved in and has been sleeping on the couch and secretly drinking all your booze because that’s what October does. October will also quietly consume all of the cookies you’ve been saving for Christmas.
People start to huddle up, to walk in groups and team up to smoke under awnings. Smoking is banned in town these days, but I still see people lighting up. I’ve been battling the urge to smoke. I quit four months ago, but there’s nothing like smoking when the cold is dramatic like this. There really is nothing like drawing up your hood, tucking your scarf firmly around your neck and cupping the stick in your freezing hands and flicking that lighter.
It’s cold enough now for roaring fires, hot chocolate with a generous shot of whiskey and brewed, strong coffee. The kind that I drink with an arm wrapped around my stomach, so hot I can actually feel life drain into me as the last of the night leaves me.
It’s cold enough now to stop drinking beer and start drinking brandy to warm up. I start dreaming about soup recipes and freshly baked bread. I also start to quietly get fatter, because all that freshly baked bread has to go somewhere. Like my hips.
Some days I forget why I love my hometown and then the cold comes in and kicks down the door and snuggles up with me in bed. October also means Christmas is near — from the looks of it this Christmas is going to be freezing.
I’m already in love with it.