I looked for the mind of Fall along our spacious avenues, and it was not there; in the depths of City Park and the forests on the north shore, and it was not there; past the horizon, Blue Ridge Mountains to the heart of Michigan, runways of Paris and Milan, Alta Moda in Portofino, and it was not there. All reflections of a memory of a memory, some primordial insouciance routinely turning the world to laconic arabesque of shimmering brown and yellow, gold and orange.
I found the genius of Fall strolling again through those elementary halls--Constitution on my left, Declaration of Independence on my right. Those aromas, cedar and graphite of a freshly sharpened Berol Mirado #2, cleaning products industrial in scope, opened textbooks, and off in the distance that tragic olfactory arena, the cafeteria, etched my soul with a sense of change, formality, summer's sweet freedom forboden.
Those endless days, spread like food upon a table, all at once ripen. You're playing the same game you played with your friends all summer, but the darkening sky has you trudging home early, indignant yet strangely penitent; there is less time for these things now.
Somewhere in the air of readiness and transition style is born, and the mind of Fall is where elegance prospers, in fashion, in manners, in the late eruption of exquisite color as the trees turn. The matter at hand becomes family, familiarity, and social bonds making company on some otherwise cold and lonely night: the polar opposite of a Midsummer Night's dream.
As shadows lengthen, things aren't as they seem. A dog might just be a wolf, and Loa's perennial twilight cocktail, the toothy Chien et Loup, is that crepuscular expression incarnate, slyly moulting from gin to rye and wearing its pretty-pink grapefruit and Campari hue like sheep's clothing.
Libations that are weightier, not just substantially but with the mantle of tradition, prevail: the Sazerac, the Old Fashioned, the Vieux Carre, the Manhattan. Innovation is in retrograde, and libations instead administer the touch of warmth. Chilton County, Alabama peaches will whisper their last secrets to the Armagnac they macerate in, and in New Orleans a steady hand will serve a regal French 75, topped with sparkling Pinot Noir rose.
Never did summer with its lucky old sun have a more serious role, than to serve the needs of Fall. Pass the biscuits, please.
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