The pungent smell of dying things.
A taste of snow and smoke at the back of your tongue.
October is my favorite month.
If you knew me in high school or college, you know that October makes me … restless. It makes me awake. It makes me excited.
October is … provocative. Dangerous but somehow comforting. Cozy.
My love affair with October began October 6, 2004. I remember because this was the night I saw the musical Jekyll and Hyde at the Hale Center Theatre Orem. It was a Wednesday.
I was hooked.
Jekyll and Hyde was dark, scary, and sexy. At age 14, this was a Big Deal for me. It was exciting. It was dangerous. If I’m to be honest, it was something my mother never would have approved of.
My obsession with this musical ran deep. For nearly four months, I ate, slept, and breathed Jekyll (I only stopped when I saw the Phantom of the Opera movie on MLK Day, but that’s another story). I wrote fanfiction. I drew fan art. I memorized the entire CD and then the entire CD booklet. I joined message boards. I did everything I could to get more, more, more.
And then there’s Halloween. For a restless teenager, there’s nothing more exciting than dressing up in a costume and prowling the neighborhood after dark without parental supervision (shoutout to my younger siblings for keeping Mom occupied!). It’s even more thrilling when the neighbor boy you’ve got a crush on comes along (shoutout to Dexter!).
Autumn, and October in particular, will forever be entwined with the maelstrom of emotions that wracked me as a teenager. It’s been 13 years (spooky), and I’m well aware of how naive and silly I was back then, but I can’t shake the weight of October. It’s a heady feeling.
Somehow, in October, the crunch of leaves is louder, the moon is larger, the yellow of streetlamps is more sinister. It’s a month laden with promise. The lazy warmth of summer has passed, but the numb chill of winter hasn’t yet arrived. Everywhere you look, there’s change. Even the breeze seems to carry secrets on its breath.
It’s nearly over now.
The November and December holidays are exciting, but none of them carry the electricity that crackles throughout the weeks leading up to Halloween. In all these years, I haven’t quite figured out how to hold onto it, but maybe I’m not meant to.
What do you love about October? How do you hold onto that exciting feeling throughout the long dark of winter?