"Portentous" is the only word that seems to suit the slate-gray colour of the skies over upstate New York today. There's a chill in the air and it looks like it very badly wants to snow, but it's not quite time. Soon it will be, and the snow will come.
Fall is my favourite time of year, and yet today's unquestionable autumnal pall drove me into a torpid depression. It was close to four in the afternoon before I could rouse myself into any sort of meaningful action at all, even if it was only to drag my ass over the mountain to the comic shop to pick up my weekly haul, plus an action figure meant for my son's 12th birthday next month. It's something he'll really like. I'd tell you what it is, but he's getting pretty savvy with the internet these days. Nothing is the same anymore, now that everyone in my house except the cat has their own Gmail account.
Leaving the comic shop, I drove south instead of returning home over the mountain. In Saratoga Springs, I stopped in to Borders and bought the single copy they had in stock of Best American Comics 2007 edited by Chris Ware. Comic book artist Matt Smith was working; you may remember him as a former Mike Mignola collaborator, and artist of a Nightcrawler miniseries, an Avengers Timeslip one-shot that is fabulously drawn, and other comics. We chatted briefly once when he checked me out as I was buying some graphic novel or other; he seems very pleasant, and is also pretty tall.
I really, really wanted to wander around Saratoga Springs after I left Borders, but that gray, unrelenting sky pushed down on me and made me long for the familiar and comfortable confines of home. There was much I wanted to do today, and for a change in recent weeks, I felt well enough to do at least some of it, but maybe it's my mood, or the weather, or the time of year, that drove me back toward home. Every previously-bustling ice cream joint and hot dog stand I saw on the way has been closed up, with signs thanking patrons for a great summer and promising a return next spring. Summer's end has come.
I wonder, not for the first year, how many more summers I will see.