Ah, fall. The smell of sunscreen, the light touch of my favorite linen dress, the icy kiss of popsicles. No, wait a second, that’s summer. It’s an early September afternoon in Austin, it’s 96 degrees outside, and I’m sick of sunscreen, sick of that dress, and I never really liked popsicles. (If you’re going to have something cold, I say just go for gelato.)

Every year I fall (haha see what I did there?) for Austin’s un-autumn. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Atlanta and Singapore, where seasons are more of a state of mind, or an AC-induced hallucination, than an out-of-doors reality.

Still, hope/denial springs eternal. It reminds me of Halloweens as a kid in Atlanta. There was one house on our block that my sister and I approached every year, clutching our plastic jack-o-lantern buckets. Every All Hallows’ Eve, without fail, our neighbor’s door would swing open, and, Nightmare on St. Charles Place, he would fill our jack-o-lanterns with toothbrushes and toothpaste. Talk about tone deaf. Even the toothbrushes, swimming in mini Milky Ways and Baby Ruths, looked embarrassed to be there.

Why didn’t we just skip his house? That would have given us five more minutes on our route. We were stubborn optimists. We believed in basic human goodness. We thought The Dentist could change, remember his own childhood. He tried to teach us to brush better, but he only taught us that life can be disappointing.

Same with Texas Septembers and, let’s be honest, Octobers. I schedule tennis matches at noon and refuse to wear mosquito repellent. I suffer, just as I did as a seven year old dressed up as a witch, hoping for a Butterfinger but getting a Crest Minty Fresh travel tube instead.

But next week will be different. A cold front could come through. I’d better unpack my sweaters.


Brittani Sonnenberg is a writer based in Austin, TX. She is crazy about dogs, tennis and the frozen drinks at Kinda Tropical.

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