A Pale Autumn Gentleman in Summertown

Sometimes my new life feels like the premise for a sitcom. My Stepfather Is A Vampire. They did that one, actually. Odd outsider moves to town and learns to get along with the locals is a super common plot. Sometimes the locals take to him. Sometimes he blends in and loses his strange identity, and sometimes they burn him at the stake as a witch.

My new life is much more Sims-ish than my old one. I have a habitative partner. There are children, some who have left the roost. We have stock rooms and stock appliances and use stock accessories.

And I’m a bit odd. I’m used to hole-in-the-wall small-business cafès and grocers. Here, the stores are Buy n Large or Umbrella Corporation or Omni Consumer Products. I am particular about my cheese and coffee and bread. The locals are particular about their snack chips and chicken nuggets and fruit-flavored carbonated beverages. They make latest-movie jokes and I make classical literature jokes.

No one suspects me of being too weird to tolerate… yet. My sweetheart also is a fellow of the Autumn and geeks out over literary fiction and shares my love of fancy breeds of apple. Our house is decorated with ravens and cats.

I suspect the fictional verson of my story features miss Lucy comprehending her own peril, now that this Balkan gentleman has accepted her mother’s invitation and taken refuge in her house. Once a proper churchgoing woman of high morals, mother is already lost, having been seduced into his autumnal ways of ravens and cats and fancy cheese. It is only by littering the foot of her doorway with bubblegum wrappers and loose candy (capitalizing on a compulsion he cannot resist to count them and order them until dawn returns) that she has kept her virtue thus far. But how long can this pantomime last? How long?

I was thankful when the locals were complaining about the sun as well. Okay, so this is crazy hot weather with the sun beating down suggesting that the ozone hole is above us again. Given the ozone hole sometimes exposes the Bay Area, we Haight-Ashbury bohemians are actually aware of the UV index and the NWS’s services that measure and predict how much cancer you’re getting from going outside. (The answer is a lot, even with SPF 150 sunblock.) Today, the local UV rating was seven, which makes it for pale, burn-inclined Balkan gentlemen like myself, very high risk, even in short stints in the sun. The light of the last few days has felt particularly harsh, but it is comforting I’m not the only one that feels that way.

Cat (because I’m tired).

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