COLUMN: October is a phony bastard

Ryan deBiase

I walk outside and glance upward at a predominately gray sky as the Northeast Ohio winter stalks just a bit closer. My glasses are speckled with drizzling, pissing rain, as if forsaking me for appreciating the peaceful beauty of mid-autumn.

I have been recently engaged in asking all my acquaintances their favorite month. Overwhelmingly, October is the most popular. Everyone cites the diverse palette of reds and yellows and the comfortable climate as reasoning for October favoritism. I can agree with this reasoning to a point, but in my little heart, I feel differently.

I hate October. There, I said it.

Now that the month is four days gone, I can look back and complain without it coming back to kick my ass. You suck, October. If I could fight, I’d pick one with you. I would rub your happy vibrant colors in the mud.

Why all this rage toward a month, you ask?

Simple. October is a phony, a fraud, a two-bit hack. It tricks you into thinking beauty and comfort will persist until spring. Like a shady friend, October pats your back and eases you along, all the while drawing the knife of harsh weather. With a few quick stabs of frigid wind gusts and the intermittent snow shower, the supposed friend runs off into obscurity.

As soon as the leaves start taking flight, I immediately conjure images of frigid whiteness, the bleak Ohio winter. I think of the campus commons field below Taylor Hall turning to a solid sheet of ice at the beginning of December and persisting in that state until mid-March. I think of slush, sleet, snow and wind gusts that penetrate into my soul.

October points and laughs from the distant recesses of my psyche. October only represents the meager beginning to the onslaught of winter tundra that persists for the next four months. Any romanticism associated with autumn is an exercise in naA_vete.

Yet, without winter, I would have a far lesser appreciation of spring. My favorite month is undeniably April, which is just the inverse of October. April begins harshly, spitting rain, sleet and snow, but ever so gradually shifts to pleasant conditions. April represents budding life, new beginnings on the bloom, warm breezes that more delicately enter into my soul.

I find it much easier to be romantic about beginnings than endings. Spring gives way to summer, and summer means freedom. But it’s hard to remember summer when I’m knee deep in soot-blackened snow while being sprayed with slush from passing plows.

October waves from its bright red perch inside my mind. “I tried to warn you,” it falsely proclaims. October never tried to warn me, it just led me by the hand to the edge of the cliff and pushed when I was not looking. I was just too distracted by the wondrous array of colors to notice its true motives.

Winter will be here soon enough. Call me a pessimist, but I cannot appreciate October with frigidness lurking on its horizon. At least I can close my eyes and think of spring, a glorious blanket to warm me from the cold treachery of that bastard October.

Ryan deBiase is a senior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].