I occasionally give currency to the aphorism that the only things worth talking about are Sex, Politics, and Religion, usually appending my corollary that the three things never worth talking about are Work, Sports, and Weather. Such sentiments are premised on the belief that disagreements are interesting and agreements are boring. I will therefore subvert this premise by disagreeing about the weather.
Autumn is my favorite season, possibly because I, having lived primarily in Tucson and Seattle, have never really experienced it. I have a mythical notion of autumn, which is only amplified by such odes to oaks as yours. Nevertheless, I must defend September in Puget Sound; it is the most reliably pleasant time of our year. Our lovely morning fogs send a bracing tang beetling through the veins as one trudges to school, work, or the top of Mt. Si, and lift at 10h30 on the dot, revealing a defiantly warm blue. Despite recent pigmentation, Seattle is always at greater risk for sunburn in September than in June. Let recent arrivals have the sodden campsites from Memorial Day to the Fourth; my camping season begins the day after Labor Day, and would—if I had the means—persist for four consecutive weeks (followed by a week in New Hampshire).
If being persistently misunderstood is one hallmark of a literary prophet, little Franz K. gets my vote for one of the enduring voices of the 20th Century (the other being Orwell, although otherwise they couldn’t be more distinct). Behind every terror I thought I’d left behind lurks his father, the unforgiving Hapsburg authority, a shadow of which ambushed me in my first week in Graz and hounded me into dreams of such vivid remove that I woke up each morning truly unaware of where I was. That Kafka succumbed to the poet’s disease before having children prevented him from following The Castle with the final horror: becoming his father. (Can you imagine a Kafka surviving until the 50s, homesteading outside Tel Aviv? Neither can I.)
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