This October feels strange. In many ways, this year has trudged along, slow, steady, slow again. The beginning of the year felt like months would never end. Some days were tiny infinities in and of themselves. Spring sprung and all things COVID with it. Nothing felt fast. Here I sit, a few days into October, and I’m really not sure what happened to September. It was here and gone in a blink of an eye.

.

I sit in October.

.

Each week brings reminders, memories, feelings, like a pool I try to hold in my hands. Each handful slips through my fingers, back into the pool, the large mass of memories, of one thing leading to another. You can’t separate them out. I look back at the calendar and more days than not have a significant memory, event, stepping stone.

.

I have a hard time escaping the bad memories. The arguments, the painful nights, the feeling of hopelessness. I hadn’t allowed myself to look at my unhappiness. I’d put myself last in so many ways I didn’t see it anymore. No one saw I was last.

.

Until you did.

.

You didn’t just see it, you called it out, you wouldn’t let it go. I’d let you in, all the way, not just part of the way, not just peeking over the wall anymore, through the gate. I tried my best to shove you back out. I told myself you wouldn’t notice and that I didn’t need you, I didn’t need anyone.

.

Then you noticed.

.

Then you asked.

.

You came back.

.

Walking across the stepping stones of that pool, the moat around the wall, you came across, started kicking the wall again.

.

It didn’t turn out how I thought it would. Not at all. Because in the end, the fun and the denial of October bled into November. I don’t want to relive a November like that one ever again. I’d rather not find myself on hands and knees begging for forgiveness from someone I had loved again. I’d rather not find myself stepped over again.

.

Memories. Painful and harsh. Biting and bitter.

.

Before November comes October. The sweetness of the trees changing color. The reminder that my friendship changed and grew with you. It morphed into something deeper, it had always been meaningful, last year it became rich. Like the soil, I moved one wheel barrel at a time into my garden last October. I’d like to sit in the sweetness that is all things this month. Celebrate the memories. Cherish the innocence and fun that was and can still be. Because in the end, we had one hell of a good time last October.