All fallen leaves
should curse their branches
-David Bazan, Curse Your Branches
This year it wasn’t even late August, it was mid-august, when the trees started showing a tint of red. When I first noticed it, I wanted to flip them off. Tell them they were quitters. Sons of bitches. There’s no going back with these things. Green turns to red turns to yellow turns to orange turns to dead—I’m not certain the order, but I know how the story starts and finishes. Those leaves will die, be swept off sidewalks and clog storm drains. There is no going back with these things.
When I was in 8th grade, I went on a class trip to New York during spring break. I don’t remember much besides being awkward. I do remember that the hotel we stayed at was across the street from an old porn theater, and that one of the streets next to the hotel was where they were filming “You’ve Got Mail.” I’ve never seen the movie, though I do like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Apparently part of it was set in autumn. They filmed it in early spring, so I guess they had to glue or tape rusty colored leaves to the trees. I don’t imagine those leaves stayed up very long.
I’m no botanist, and I can’t explain why leaves fall from branches. They do, and this is enough information for me. I know enough that that they don’t go back, or at least I’ve never seen it. Maybe I shouldn’t be making such absolute statements like “there is no going back with these things.” I definitely have never seen it. But it’s mid September, and more and more leaves are going chameleon on me, so I suppose it’s time to hope and pray—maybe a few leaves can go back. I can think of one I really wish would.