The windows are open, all nine of them, the sashes stretching towards the sky. Street-facing, breeze-embracing. The sun crawls in, climbs in, cascades in: it is everywhere, covering everything, dappling the furniture and the like-coloured dogs with its brightness. The leaves have not dropped; they are green, still supple. Juicy. Plump. They have not yet been riddled with brittleness, or opacity.
Although the calendar suggests otherwise, here, in the North-South corridor, we are caught between seasons. I have lived in this city six years. Autumn comes late, later than I am accustomed to: it is a blip, a blink, a grimace. Normally, autumn is summer, winter is autumn; in September, cool, calm, sunny weather is a hiccough, an anomaly. The days blaze, the nights burn. This year, it is different: thermals in the morning give way to sundresses in the afternoon. The sun is out, but the wind lasts all day: sweaters have already been unpacked, pressed neatly. Smoothed against fading tan skin, pulled tightly against prematurely hunched shoulders.
It is autumn, almost as I know it: cool, windy, exhilarating. Pumpkin patches beckon, the hint of cold-weather spices whirl through the air: cinnamon, nutmeg. Cool temperatures are still an early morning affair, but the time for apple cider and warm soup is near. The cloudy point between seasons-the neither here nor there-is my creative comfort zone: the blood seeping through my pores.