Illustration by Ryan Alexander-Tanner

IT'S THE END of October, but I live in Los Angeles, which means it might as well be May 23 or February 9 or the middle of June or Christmas. The seasons mean nothing here. That's part of living in a """"""""PARADISE"""""""" (SO MANY QUOTES!); the time just seems to pass without the signal of blooming flowers and turning leaves. The weather in LA, like the people, is on mood stabilizers. We've got two seasons here, Pilot Season and Yom Kippur! Hah! Ahahaha! (I stepped away from my computer and alternated between swinging a fake golf club and straightening a nonexistent tie for six weeks right after I typed that.)

Anyone who tells you that Los Angeles is irredeemable is either disingenuous or the worst kind of tourist. It's a fine place to live when you aren't living in Portland. The weather, though... there is that. I miss the seasons.

Autumn, friends, autumn is powerful dope. Those cold, tight mornings. The air smells like it fell asleep next to a campfire and hasn't washed its hair yet. Summer comes in like a lover; passionate and fun and ubiquitous, but three or four months of that shit? It's crowding you in bed, its hot breath pelts your neck, you can't fall asleep, and then... autumn. Sweatshirts. Fog.

I'm an optimist, though. I won't let Los Angeles shine-block my autumnal indulgence. I will manufacture autumn, if I must. I will drink my very first pumpkin spice latte. OH SHIT, IAN, 260 WORDS INTO THE COLUMN IT ALL OF A SUDDEN BECOMES ABOUT PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES? YES. YES. I AM A GOOD WRITING-ER.

I'm a utilitarian coffee drinker. I've taken it black for as long as I can remember. Most mornings I just drink cold brew concentrate out of a jug I keep inside an old Civil War cannon. I'm not in the coffee game for the flavor and I'M DUBIOUS OF ALL OF YOU WHO PRETEND YOU CAN APPRECIATE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PLAID PANTRY SHIT AND HEART ROASTERS SHIT. The internet is all silly-goosed about pumpkin spice lattes with various iterations of hyperbole, but it's never really appealed to me. Now, though, in the interest of replicating the Oregon falls of my recent youth, I'm going to listen to this Fleet Foxes album and drink this fucking PSL. These are the last words I will write before my journey.


Okay, so that didn't taste like a pumpkin at all, which is GOOD, because ain't a one of us walking around eating pumpkins, but still... what the fuck is pumpkin spice? Is it a spice latte and then also pumpkin? Is it pumpkin spice? Pumpkin isn't a spice, pumpkin is a gourd. Gourds and spices are mad different. My mouth feels like it's coated in lingering artificial unpleasantness. I feel thick. I feel like summer. Tune in next week when I get blackout drunk on Rumple Minze.