My dad once had a funny piece in The Wall Street Journal in which he posited that most people's favorite season is fall—and most people believe this opinion makes them unique.
The odes to fall on Facebook prove Dad's theory. People publicly looking forward to wearing their hoodies, people posting pictures of dappled leaves, even grouches like me, talking about a weird sense of well-being provided by pumpkins.
But goddamnit, let's not forget what comes after fall.
This comes after fall.
So even with the inner peace that deeper sleeping brings, this is the season when I start doing strange things.
I watch professional football for hours, and wish that I still cared about it.
I watch sleeping babies, longingly.
I start perfecting sardonic lines, like, "I've got half my life in front of me!"
With white knuckles I cling to promised pleasures—a nippy motorcycle ride, a leaf-strewn round of golf—because they might be my last, for awhile.
I start reading the obituaries, and tell myself it's not bad because I read mostly about the younger corpses.
I actually have thoughts like, "What would make me happy is a new pair of bucks."
And, "As a person, I don't know whether I'm getting better or worse."
And, "This winter I am going to reread Light In August, goddamnit."
This winter I actually am going to sail a boat from Annapolis, Md. to the British Virgin Islands. I am going to learn to cook, in a house equipped with a brand-new love generator (more on that later in the week). Thanksgiving plans are a little hazy, but Christmas and New Year's plans are made.
Before long, it'll be March. And there'll still be snow on the ground, and my pals and I will lean against the bar at the Chipp Inn, debating without making eye contact, whether we're depressed because Obama isn't doing enough, or because we are getting old, or because it's still fucking winter in Chicago.