Fall Break: Odds & Ends

Warm returns from a much-needed fall break! Unlike the one in Spring, fall breaks make me feel less energized academically but enhance efforts to relax and celebrate my favorite month. For some fall means escaping to islands or other urban hearts or loved ones abroad. For me it means being okay with fall breaks being hard, and healing.

Though I remained pretty local, mine was full of oddities. I added a banana leaf and a pin with many eyes to my jean jacket collection; I read half a novel for my Black Horror class in a coffeehouse (the book was odd; I’ll talk more about it later!); sweet friends & I visited an oddities shop on 4th named “Strange and Unusual,” bought familiar cassette tapes at the nearby Repo Records and Federal Donuts for the train ride home. We returned to Mando’s place in South Jersey for a cozy, festive witching hour with her pup, her two black cats, & the laughter from the Taika Waititi film “What We Do in the Shadows.” Other friends visited me on campus or met me for dinner. I bowled an unimaginable strike, collected many hours of Netflix originals & made a trip to my West Philly home.

fall breaking bread

One of the neatest things about not leaving for short breaks? There’s a lived-in quiet on campus where people feel rested. I ended my break in the cozy company of friends. They shared a meal upon returning from an art festival, but it had the communal warmth of inhabiting campus in the absence of dining hall hours or academic routines. One of them brought me a printed poem for my room and they filled the space with music and creative energy. They offered me leftover bread from La Colombe and evening comfort.

Weird things: The sharp energy changes to adjust to week-long breaks, ideal fall weather in Philly, the not-getting-used-to-feeling-uprooted, driving through the creek at night on our way back with friends. The book I’m reading for Black Horror has unreliable narrators and witchcraft and family lineages and heartbreak, but somehow among the realities and unreality my fall breaks are historically odder. Just the idea of having it marked on a planner and still feeling it creep up on me, too brief but long enough to throw a groove makes fall break my most welcome & least loved. (Below: South Street haunting, my cute creature vampire pachimari, the novel for Black Horror, and the tape on which the first song is named “Supernatural.”)

But because it’s fall break, I make efforts to enjoy October and the unusually ideal Philly weather. I sleep (a lot) and I make plans and I make notes for when I return when needed. (Make therapy appointments, make plans for eating, make…) There are a lot of upcoming things to celebrate! From the AMO Night Market to ideas to dance performances, fall semester is full of richness.

My Spotify is pretty private to me, but I’ll share a mix I made for this month and the oddness it captures. Happy October, and I hope you enjoy its sweetness!

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