It is decidedly fall. Unremittingly. Absolutely. Inconsolably.

Autumn is my favourite season. All the plants turn from a more or less singular sea of green into a riot of colour. The smell of earth and damp leaves rises in the morning when the dawn burns off the early frost. No longer climbing so high in the sky, the sun casts long rays across the city, creating stark contrasts of dark shadow and golden light. I get to wear my new black pea coat that came with a crushed velvet scarf.

At the same time, though, it means winter is coming, and every time someone remarks on the weather, I cringe. My chest tightens up a bit. If you have been to Saskatchewan, you know that this must happen to me a lot. The weather and the seasons come up in most conversations and usually with a tone of surprise. It's only 6°C, and it's not even October! It's been rainy and cold for four days now! At least it doesn't smell like snow yet! I am not entirely innocent of using the weather as an entrance or exit topic to ease the flow of conversation, but at least I veer away from horrific inevitability of snow and ice. I grow a lump in my throat that is difficult to swallow around.

So, I am in the middle of loving this freaking gorgeous season, but part of me wants to lie down and die while the getting's good so that I can avoid the long, dark, tunnel that is winter. And it will be dark and long. It's getting darker and longer every year.

This new and positively chipper outlook puts me in a bit of a dramatic mood. I get really into wearing black turtlenecks and wish that I could pull off more dramatic eyeliner. I make an extra effort to call friends that I haven't seen in a while, because anyone can die at any minute, don't you know. I consider getting properly medicated, work my way through a bottle of some herbal remedy instead, buy a full-spectrum desk lamp for work, and hope that the new ultra-mega-plus multivitamins I bought will do the trick. By November, I'm so fun to hang out with that I can barely get a moment alone, what with all the people clamouring to get a piece of my inner goth child.

Armed with this sunny disposition this morning, I sat down to read some weblogs, and yet another out there has called it quits. We're falling like flies, it seems. Liz from Granny Gets a Vibrator has dropped out to deal with her life, Lynn from Sprigs is taking an extended break, fluidpudding is ending her blog and putting something else in its place, and now ELB from byrneunit has ducked out. There are others, too, who have walked off the stage. They have expressed concerns that their weblogs raise such as risk of unemployment, privacy for their families, what would happen if their mothers found out. Being a walking ball of vulnerability right now makes me a veritable sponge for worry, and these writers have had me worrying about what these things mean for me.

I have spent the last couple of days asking myself what I'm doing here. If my employer found this website, would they have grounds to fire me? Would they fire me anyway, just to be on the safe side? If my mother found this website, would it break her heart? Would finding out all the things I've written here about gender dysphoria and past drug use and a complete lack of Christian faith rupture whatever family dynamic we've got going for us? Am I brave enough to just say fuck it, I'm done with pretending in order to protect myself from others? It feels so very high school, like this is my old Hilroy depression journal circa 1987 that I wrote about my "best" friend in, and she will absolutely die if she finds out that I just don't have that BFF feeling anymore, and also that I actually don't like her weird comb-over hairstyle that she thinks is so rad.

Of course, I'm not going to quit writing here. I seriously have no idea, though, how I would handle it if work and my mother and my religious great-aunt dug through my archives and demanded to know why I would take those drugs and do that awful thing to my pet fish and leave behind Jesus, who would have been my personal lord and saviour from all things brimstoney and hot had I not been so freaking sinful. I just might end up crawling into a hole under a rock and curling up with my new best friend Wild Turkey, but I am certain that I would also bring a laptop with me and an extension cord so that I could tell you all about the crazy root system in my dirt walls and how it would really help my situation if there were a bathroom in there.

At any rate, I am here. I'm not leaving. I may be paranoid and occasionally become an obsessive checker of my stats to assure myself that I am indeed safe for another day. I may sometimes consider just outting myself already so that I can take charge and let things be what they will be. I may hover my mouse over that delete button and consider turning the lights off forever, but I won't. I like it here.

For some reason, I am willing to risk making my own mother cry. If I keep heaping up sin upon sin like this, I am going to end up in that circle of hell where I have to hang upside down in a river of shit or that one where I get to be gnawed on by Satan for all eternity.

* The Fiery One titled this entry without having read it first. I went with his title, because before he walked in I was going to give it some poetic sounding one that set off my gag reflex. Nobody needs that.