I’m not sure about you, but I am fairly certain that September–as a month–has some atopic dermatitis to deal with.  (Atopic what?)

Do not (yet) roll your eyes.  Do let me explain.

Since I’ve graduated from the glorious annals of my days in school, September has felt perpetually itchy to me. Something gets just under the skin, and it is chronic.  It seems high-time to start things over, to rearrange, to scratch the itch.  Maybe it’s the autumnal equinox. Maybe it’s the hint of the Jewish high holy days.  Maybe it is the enduring memory of buying that new 5th grade outfit: the neon green jumpsuit with adjoining hot orange tee, and the Keds.

Of this, things are clear, I’m fairly certain I’ve rearranged my room every September.  I’ve also “happened to” take up new hobbies around this same month, every year.  This is when the air begins to grow a shade cooler in nearly every American township, save Los Angeles.

Everything about September itches for something new.  It will not go away.  Ergo, September clearly has atopic dermatitis.  Also known as, eczema. Happy Eczema Awareness month!

False: Eczema awareness – that is in October.  Where was I?

(Where did you find me, anyway?)

Since we all agree that September has a severe case of the itches, something truly must be done.  And so, like a matriarch over my own bizarre metaphors and emotions, I have trounced into the local apothecary, and asked him to allow me to hand-make a certain medicinal covering for its perpetual itches.

And what is that balm, you say?  Ahoy!  Weigh the anchor!  (We just missed International Talk-like-a-pirate-day – September 19th.  It’s a thing.)  I have made September a not-so-secret course list, as a soothing balm.  

In other words, I made myself a list of classes I shall pretend to attend.  My semester runs September until December.  I am also creating the syllabus for each.  It is a wonderful thing to plan out the the very things you’d like to feed your time with.

Also!  I create the coffee breaks!  At this very moment I’m in study hall at a West Hollywood cafe with one extra studious, Sarah Painter.  She is, in fact, preparing for a real live class.

Me: What class are you writing for, at this moment?

Sarah: Social Work 503: Human Behavior and the Social Environment (Humans from ages 1-12)

Me: Isn’t it exciting that now you get to take classes that start with the letter 5?!

Sarah: I’m sorry, what?

Me: 4 is no longer the ceiling! [I am thinking, “Take that 4…”]

Sarah: [ a look of sincere consternation, with a familiar smile – as if she is waiting for a cheese-curd punch line ]

Me: When we were undergraddies at UMBC…400’s…the limit! [True, I did not actually say, “undergraddies,” but think it should be a new term.]

Sarah: Ah, yes, of course! Actually, the numerical arrangement had never occurred to me.

I am not certain how Sarah feels about September having atopic dermatitis.  I do know that she is basking in the glory of all the endless USC online databases that she has access to, while I do not.

I miss being a student terribly.  I am also quite fond of the rhythms that are allowable in that stage of our lives.  The timeless quality of everything, the what-day-is-it-anyway refrains, the fact that it is perfectly normal to stay up past midnight engrossed in whatever you may be focused on in that course-driven moment.

I shall post my secret/not-secret course-list in future writings, as soon as I can get the Registrar to print it out on this old dot matrix printer.

[ photo of Oslo by Jeffrey ]

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