How To Bring About Autumn

In the waning days of summer, many desire to speed up the onset of autumn so that they might delight in its seasonal pleasures, stop feeling too warm at beddy time, and stop wearing the summer clothes that they hate now. The method to do so has been traded in whispers among those few in-the-know — until now. A group made primarily of women (the female aspect of which is not particularly relevant though I believe it is worth noting, as the autumn method group has rarely been women-dominant) voted in a landslide that I share it, for, as they said, [chanting], “times are dire, sound the lyre, pull us out of season’s fire — forsooth.” 

[To get this out of the way quickly: it is not scientifically proven that the method brings about autumn. Many like to point out that autumn comes whether someone “does the method” or not. However, many like to counter that perhaps autumn came about because someone did the method who the first person simply did not know about, and did they ever think of that?, maybe they are not so smart after all. This can continue back and forth for long periods, so it might be best to assume that this is a question for which science does not have a solid answer.]

This is how the method has always been done. If you’d like to make adjustments here or there that is up to you although I am not sure why you would choose to do any part of the method if you are not going to do the method in the correct way that brings about autumn. On a night of a date ending in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, or 9), tippy-toe to your leaf. Oh — first you have to get your leaf. In your nearest greenspace, sing your leaf song in your loudest voice. If you’ve sung it correctly you will find yourself drawn to a leaf. If you believe this is truly your leaf, bring it home and lay it on the small bed you’ve prepared.

For three days, lie before your leaf between the hours of six and seven a.m. and pray:

Now I lay me down to Leaf
Relieve me from this summer’s grief
There is no one before you, Leaf
You are my Lord, my blessed chief

There is no way to tell at this step whether or not you’re on the right track so just be sure that your intentions are pure and that, in the leaf-choosing step, you choose the correct leaf. Then, on a night of a date ending in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, or 9), tippy-toe to your leaf. Announce yourself and lie down beside it on a larger bed that you’ve constructed out of the same materials with which you made your leaf bed (NOT leaves). Raise your arms above your head in a leaflike formation:

“I am a leaf like you,” you whisper, taunting. “What are you gonna do, Leaf? What are you gonna do? I’m listening.” With your hands still in leaf formation bring your ear to where the leaf’s mouth would be. “What are you gonna do now? Say it. Say it out loud, Leaf. Say what you’re gonna do.” What you’re attempting to do is will a murderous (or otherwise) threat from the leaf, but if you chose the correct leaf you will find the leaf stays silent.

The next day you will dig a number of leaf graves in your backyard or in the nearest greenspace.

At this point you will notice a precipitous drop in temperature and you will begin to feel sick. The earth beneath each tiny leaf grave will release an odor so foul you’ll wish to clothespin your nose like a cartoon, however this will disrupt the process and is not only discouraged but completely prohibited. Out of the leaf graves, if you’ve done things correctly until this point, will crawl horrific leaf “zombies.” (They dislike the term but it is accurate.) Shit and slobber will fall from their rotten maws as they beg for the young palisade mesophyll of Leaf. Now. It is possible that you have grown attached to your leaf at this point; this is where many fail and is perhaps why we are experiencing temperatures in the 80s currently. I cannot make your decisions for you, but suffice to say the leaves will take someone as their sacrifice, and the only other person there is you. You will need to sacrifice Leaf.

Prepare yourself for a bloody scene. Just gruesome. (A scene, I have to warn you, which the method demands you take in with eyes open.) Your leaf will thrash and wail. The leaf zombies will grunt and growl gleefully, energized by the young leaf and the terror they’ve enacted. Blood and shit will blanket the ground as day turns to night. Your leaf, Leaf, will look you in the eye as both it and the summer season meet their end.

What have you done?

And was it worth it?