I don’t trust fall. It’s out there, through the window, waving at me as fake summer breezes bake the vegetables in my planter box. The willow trees we put in the ground when shorter than me, have exploded to three stories in height. They too wave at me saying, “It’s okay Rodney; winter’s miles away.”

I’m not sure who paid them off, but they’re hiding their shedded leaves, swept under their rug as if to say, “Fall? Nothing fell.” When willows are in cahoots with the greater forces in life, you have to watch your back(yard).

God, I want to run outside and play. I want to ride my bike and jump on the trampoline and plan long, slow walks holding my gorgeous bride’s hand. But I know, the minute I do, I will have fallen victim to their deceit.

The basil still smells like memories on my hands and the tomatoes liked sliced sun. So what if the banana peppers went bananas and taste like nothing. That deception I can live with. This pretend July is almost abusive in its teasing.

My heart screams, “Just enjoy this time, this now, this present.” But my head knows better. My head understands that as soon as I embrace this September blue sky, it will turn January gray.

I want to hold on to every scrap of summer; sandals, shorts, sock-less strolls. I don’t want the party to end. It’s closing time and I’m still buzzed.

Special thanks to writing guru Bill Palmer, without whom I’d never be sitting here without socks, staring out my window, as I desperately try and respond to yet another one of his powerful emails.