Like Janis Ian, we learned a lot at 17. That’s how old we were when we left behind our one-horse town for the lights of the big city. And oh! The differences! Prohibition was in full swing, and we dove right into the speakeasy scene, making friends with the Gonk crowd and cheering on George Raft as he danced at Tex Guinan’s place.
The thing about sticking around one place long enough is that pentimento sets in. At some points, as Nicole Atkins sang, the past can weigh on us until we can’t breathe. We’ve always lived in the same apartment, and too often what a change in weather reminds us of is not that it’s time to rewatch Hocus Pocus or buy eggnog. It’s something from the past. This is what October means to us.
We remember… windy days spent watching The Muppets Take Manhattan and drinking hot chocolate. Glasses of hot chocolate and Mary McCarthy novels. Seeing Kill Bill in theaters and then obsessively listening to the soundtrack. Going to Halloween parties in various stages of undress and in various weathers. Rainy nights trying to get a grip on our lives with new albums and old movies. The song “Stealing Kisses.” Liz Phair. Mary Gaitskill novels. Bourbon. Vodka crans. Whiskey sours. Gimlets. The Year of Magical Thinking. Tammy Grimes songs. Watching the trailer for Closer on a loop. Eating fried eggs and seeing Faith Prince in concert at Carnegie Hall. Reading The Best of Everything. Bad dates, good dates, and rediscovering our autumnal wardrobe. Despite our million dollar gams, fall is when we sartorially shine.