The dreamlike day has packed up and went. Now there is just this slightly dazed memory of yesterday.
We knew it was going to happen. Temperature of 70 degrees predicted. The rakish, sporty, seven oh! But by mid-morning, it was beyond the number. It was seeing the mailman wearing shorts. And people strolling down Mass. Ave. with faraway grins as if somehow finding themselves in a home movie of a 1950s vacation in Havana. And the pumpkins on the front steps looking giddy to find a November day speaking Octoberish, never mind that the warmth and hazy sun increased the chance of a trip to Moldyville on tomorrow's garbage pick-up.
Even remembering it today is like trying to write a dream down. But there was a moment siting on the front porch next to the pumpkins, listening to the maple leaves clattering paperily in the mild breeze. Waiting for the plumber. Taking notes for this ("mailman wearing shorts/sun glows through milky haze").
Indian Summer and I go way back. There's a family anecdote dating back to 1955, when I was six or seven. We were driving to Boston, my mother, father, and I, on our way to my dad's first heart operation, the successful one. He wrote about it in an article called "I Beat Heart Failure" for a Sunday supplement magazine a few years later. "It was a languid Indian summer morning..." Then I pipe up from the back seat (as if breaking into the narrative): "What is Indian summer?" To which my father replies: "It's like a second summer that comes as a surprise after the weather turns cold." (NIce succinct definition.) To which my mom adds: "Think of summer as a living thing about to die. Then, by the grace of God, it gets a new lease on life." And the scene ends: "One of my wife's hands found mine on the front seat and squeezed it for a moment."
The new lease didn't last as long as they'd hoped, about five years. But that's all the more reason to enjoy the lease while you have it. And even though today's in the sixties and overcast, I did send the other November a vacation postcard from yesterday with a wacky greeting that said something like: "Dear November, I think I've found out where the time goes. I might just stay here! Hasta luego."