How to: October

1. Make chicken noodle soup and hot toddies.

2. Read the kind of book that’s best late at night, with only a lamp on, its spine resting on your knees while you read, a cup of warm tea on the nightstand.

It should be a complicated thriller-esque narrative-deep novel, like The Secret History by Donna Tartt, or a poetic slip of a thing you’ll start again the moment you finish it, like Bluets by Maggie Nelson or Glass, Irony & God by Anne Carson, or a gothic horror story, like anything by Shirley Jackson. Especially ideal if the copy belongs to the library and the pages smell, or if it’s used copy that you smear with your pen, underlining as you go, folding down pages you want to go back to.

3. Listen to Tom Waits on repeat.

4. (re)Watch Freaks & Geeks.

And when you do, pause while watching this scene. It is probably the best scene on all of television ever. I mean that sincerely.

5. Tell ghost stories

with friends, while curled beneath blankets around a fireplace, preferably in the Catskills. Stories about men with hooks for hands, dead dogs and the sound of dripping, the house that ate everyone who entered, etc. Be as creative and gruesome as is possible.

6. If it rain and thunders, stay up late to listen.

These storms are best when it’s nighttime and you’re in bed, the sound of heavy raindrops battering against the windows and occasional flash of lightning through the blinds.  No matter how late you stay up doing this, you’ll wake up the next morning refreshed and clear-headed. It works every time.

7. When you get dressed in the morning, wear so many hats and scarves and jackets and boots that no one will recognize you. Smile secretly to yourself

because no matter what anyone says, this is a wonderful season. Wait til winter to be miserable and depressed and lonely.

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