Today I smelled the fall.
I was driving home round bout 9:30, my windows ajar, and then there it was. Creeping up my nostrils like the stream of stench that follows Pepe le Pew. I was unsure at first. But then I sneezed, and I knew. I knew because I always get pretty congested in the fall due to the moldy dead leaves and the rotting pumpkins people insist on decorating with. So after infecting my dashboard and wiping my watery eyes, I smiled knowingly at the homeless man mouthing bless you from his perch at the stop light. Because I knew. “I knew the way you know about a good melon.”*
There will be those that say, “But Mary, it ’tis but August!” These people are not from Ohio (and probably not from the 20th century). In Ohio, anything is possible. And I don’t mean that in the way that Walt Disney meant it. I mean to say, that Ohio is bat shit crazy. It’s where Mother Nature hides out when she’s feeling menopausal like our very own Wicked Witch of the Midwest. The only weather we haven’t really had on record is a tsunami and that’s probably just because most of us can’t spell it so we put it down in the books as a flood.
So yes. I do think that I smelled the fall today. It smelled like campfires and sweatshirts and corn. And not that canned crap.
Although in reality, I might have just smelled the remnants of the first day of school; rubber erasers, bouquets of sharpened pencils**, backpacks, anticipation and the sweat of a dozen teachers.
Potato, tomato. Either way, fall is nigh.
[For Nora Ephron: Because your writing made me laugh, your love of the fall made me love you and I kiiiiiinda hope to grow up to be just like you. Bad neck and all.]
[And for all my teacher friends: May your OAA scores be high and your blood pressure low. I’m sorry I called you sweaty.]
*’When Harry Met Sally”
**’You’ve Got Mail’