I hate September.
September starts out fine, but progresses, inevitably, to a deep depression towards the end of the month.
For twenty years, as it deepens, I wonder at it, try to pry it apart, examine my life and feelings, try to probe what is getting to me so viciously. And then, mid-month, I remember.
My father died at the end of September, a painful, slow death from leukemia, which I witnessed, helpless. I held his hand when he died, finally, and my childhood ended.
We weren’t close, my father and I. I was very angry with him. I loved him so.
It sneaks up on me, this depression. Year after year I put it behind me, forget about it, tell myself it will fade with time. But as soon as the sun begins to bend around to Autumn’s angle, it starts. It’s been twenty years, and it’s only become worse.
This year has been very bad.
Perhaps it’s because I’m out of work, and despite loving it, I still carry a weight of anxiety about it.
Perhaps it’s because, despite happy adventures, I’m unhappy where I live, a middle-floor flat surrounded by kids just out of college who are transforming my neighborhood into a giant dorm, running around in the middle of the night, over my head, in hard-soled shoes, slamming the door, playing music, hooting drunkenly on the street, throwing parties. It changes, but it’s endless, and I haven’t slept well in months. I cannot afford to move, and stay in San Francisco.
Perhaps it’s because my back is so very bad right now. It’s been ever so much better since bellydancing. I was riding my bike again, which I haven’t done in yonks. But the trip north, driving on very bad roads for hours, sleeping on the ground or on a wooden platform, running from elk, packing and unpacking the car, putting heavy boxes on high shelves… it was too much. I thought my kidneys were going to land on the floor behind me, and I ended up in the emergency room. I’m still fragile, not dancing, not riding.
I have not been answering personal email or calling friends and family. I’m ignoring obligations and opportunities. I’m sheltering in my house, trying to play with textiles, and waiting for fucking September to be OVER. It can’t happen fast enough.
Next Friday, I’m off for Lambtown, a two-day textile festival in the small town of Dixon, California, less than two hours from San Francisco. Just the name of this festival cheers me up. So easy to get to, such a charming place. I’ve gone almost every year, for the past six years.
I’m signed up for three textile classes, and staying at the quite fantastic Super 8, where I’ve stayed three times. It’s owned by the kindest family.
I’ll walk the neighborhoods, peek into lighted windows, enjoy the unspoiled early-20th-century architecture, dream of owning my own home someday, and try not to let the pain of not having that get to me too much. I’ll try to be patient.
I’ll eat juevos rancheros at Shaw’s, if it still survives, where the neighbors stop by to chat with the staff, all sitting at the large table in the center of the room during breaks in business.
I’ll shop for treasures at the local thrift stores.
I’ll hear and see and breathe and touch and eat sheep for two days.
I’ll sleep alone. No one will stomp over my head with hard-soled shoes.
And it will be October.
A rescue, Lambtown. A celebration that I’ve escaped from the depths of September. Fuck September.