Shiny, happy person.

I'm sitting in my neighbor's chair. She isn't using it; I don't think she's even home. Still, I feel guilty — or something. Like I should leave a note and a six-pack thanking her for her unwitting generosity, for letting me enjoy the breeze and the sunset as I write. It's felt like summer again the past week or so; it's been weeks since I took my air conditioners out of the windows, and there was no cooling down my apartment today as the sun blazed through the bright yellow leaves fluttering down from the tree outside.

To be truthful: I find this weather to be entirely miserable. My thoughts on this are not shared by many. But I went autumnal at least a month ago — probably a bit ahead of the curve — and tonight, I feel ridiculous. Because I'm wearing a summer skirt and gold sandals that show off the navy-blue pedicure I treated myself to yesterday, but with a scarf and light sweater. Because it doesn't feel right not to wear sleeves in the middle of October. I defy you, Mother Nature. I will sweat through this hell to spite you. I will even bring a jacket tonight.

The denim one. I mean business — bring back fall, and no one gets hurt.

 

I've actually put thought into this outfit because tonight, I have a date tonight with my new boyfriend. Boooooooyyyyyyyfriennnnnnd. God, it's strange to say.

It's been a week since we declared our burgeoning affections for each other for all of Facebook to see, and it still trips me up as I feel it out here in my head and heart. A friend insisted the other night that I've been ready for this and looking for a quite a while, and I maintain that it came at me out of nowhere. Feelings attack.

 

I remember all my first dates — for better or worse — and all the events that have led up to the beginnings of my past relationships, but not how it actually felt. What is it that triggers that mental switch? That reassigns a guy from someone who's buying drinks and making charming small talk to the person you wake up thinking about, the first person you want to call when fantastic things happen? It is just time? Because it seems like these things happen so fast. Even though it took a month. The fastest month. September didn't actually happen. We were strangers drinking beer exactly a month ago.

Then I woke up. It was October. I had fallen. It happened.

I've used "happen" enough times just now that it's strange to my eyes now. All the synonyms seem strange, though, because none of them really convey the suddenness like "happen" does. It doesn't feel like any of this "came to pass," or "ensued," or "occurred." It didn't "transpire." It happened. Boom.

 

These are the sorts of thoughts I'm having lately. I'm all jumbled. But not in a bad way: There's a kind of joy about it, when these bizarre things pop into my head, and I allow myself just to marvel at them. I am fighting my natural urge to overthink Every Little Thing.

 

But what's to overthink? This time, there is not this feeling of swimming upstream. I feel safe. Unencumbered. Untethered.

As I wait for my ride to arrive, I'm listening to Out of Time by R.E.M. — one of his favorite bands — and it occurs to me that we have nothing but.

 

So it's not just the sweaters and scarves. Honestly, I want autumn back because I've always thought it to be a beginning, not an end. And this coincidence is too perfect, my new beginning and this new season. I've got my love to keep me warm, Mother Nature. So cool it.