Kalah Allen

We wake to the dim fall light filtering through orange, red, and brown leaves, and we step into a haze that smells vaguely familiar. Notes of cinnamon, cardamom, and a hint of burgeoning seasonal affective disorder. At first, it was simply lattes, candles, and pastries. Then the marketing potential became obvious. Now this opium of the people is ubiquitous: recent sightings include air fresheners, candies, ice cream, Oreos, coffee creamer, Jell-O, Pringles, pasta sauce, lip balm, dog treats, deodorant, car exhaust deodorizer, nail polish, soap, protein powder, margarine, salsa, talc, beer, and vodka. Does autumn inherently smell or taste bad? What are we trying to cover up? Does anyone know what the humble pumpkin actually tastes like?! Can we wipe the orange foam from our lips, and clear our lungs of the sweet, spicy fumes to face the reality that winter is coming, and there is nothing we can do about it? There will be nine months of gray drizzle. But maybe, just maybe, a spoonful of pumpkin spice makes our impending doom go down a little easier.—Anonymous