Vengeance of the Fall

clouds and mountains near Taos, NM

Yellow aspens on the slopes of mountains hidden in the clouds

Wait! Don’t do this! What do you mean, summer’s over? We never had summer. This is how it happens here: you never really get warm, and then it’s cold again.

Yesterday I had a happy stupid thing occur. A few weeks back, I’d found a lump inside my neck. Since it didn’t go away, it had to be a tumor on a lymph node, right? I made an appointment with a surgeon. Immediately my spirits lifted; at least I’d finally freaking know. Another thirty minutes on the Internet to check those symptoms once again? Why, sure—and this time I discovered I’d been palpating one end of my hyoid bone. That’s the thing your tongue’s attached to, a perfectly normal goddamn piece of necessary stuff. So I’ve been inventing things to die from. The autumn of my life needs work, I tell you.

I’m not like the weather that cycles through the seasons every year. None of this “Next year, we won’t do that stupid shit!” One fall is all I get, as far as anybody knows. I finally get it figured out and then I’m at an age where people write you off because you’re almost dead. Gahh! I have to run the table from here on out, draw a streak of winning hands to take me to the grave if anything’s to happen.

Next year? What year?! Now! It doesn’t matter I missed basking in the sun. Anyway, perhaps I didn’t. Memory is funny that way, changes in an instant, incontrovertible, solid, different than it was before, and we don’t even notice. You can’t count on anything except what’s happening right now, and even that has devil fingers in the pie! The only thing I know is what I feel. I get up in the morning, stagger to the living room, and kiss my lovely wife. Pay attention! This is it!

Tomorrow never comes, it’s just a dream.

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  • Rita October 1, 2014, 10:07 AM

    Well at least you did not need to bask in the blazing Tuscon sun this summer! The cold sucks for me, too, now. But it also means the end of a long fire/smoke season. We got a good rain. That is a huge feeling of relief for west-coasters.

    • JHF October 1, 2014, 12:00 PM

      We’re all set. Have a full load of 500-year-old piñon beside the driveway. Burning 24/7, that would last about five weeks, but the keep-it-burning-all-the-time season isn’t upon us yet. 🙂

  • Marti Fenton Whitedeersong October 1, 2014, 10:32 AM

    So true. We only have today and actually only right now. I used to wonder how old folks could be happy knowing that death was coming closer. Now I know that the future stays in the future and until we don’t wake up it’s always there.

    • JHF October 1, 2014, 12:00 PM

      Nothing to add to that. Right on!

  • Mike Walsh October 1, 2014, 11:36 AM

    Since you got a appointment with the doc have him remove your muc0us membrane…..no more runny nose.

    • JHF October 1, 2014, 12:02 PM

      No way! Whatever I’ve got that works, I want to keep. 🙂 Anyway, I’m canceling the appointment, of course.

  • Bob October 1, 2014, 11:14 PM

    From time to time I think about that unseen timer, the one that tics away while we merrily roll along through life. At some point we hit the 60 minute mark, then the 60 second mark.
    Since I can’t say from experience, I suppose that if you’re hacking and coughing your way through your last moments you expect the end. But what about those last seconds before the big one hits or some drunk pendejo heading back to Tres Piedras runs that red light? Do you just wake up in another dimension going, “WTF”?

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