When October Goes

{NOTE: The song here is not the rendition that Betty Buckley sang over my sad little stereo in 1996. I couldn’t find that on YouTube. Instead, it’s Nancy Wilson, who does an equally-admirable version. It seems that for the first time one of my musical memories is too obscure even for the all-encompassing YouTube. I don’t know if I’m angry or proud about that.}

The month: October

The year: 1995

The location: Waltham, Massachusetts

The more specific location: Brandeis University, Usen Castle – the turret room

The mindset: Alone and almost lonely, a little lost

And when October goes

The same old dream appears
And you are in my arms
To share the happy years
I turn my head away
To hide the helpless tears
Oh how I hate to see October go

It would be my last year living on campus. We’d already found a family home in Boston, but I held onto a campus room since I was still a full-time student. I was also working 35 hours a week at Structure – which was practically full-time. Looking back, I don’t know how I did it, but I suppose there was no other way, or, more importantly, no other way of which I knew.


In my little turret room, vaguely shaped like a piece of pie or a piece of Trivial Pursuit, the walls were made of painted cinder bricks. There had been two long twin beds taking up most of the space, so I stacked one frame on the other, and did the same with the mattresses, creating a lofty princess-and-the-pea scene that rose above the bottom ledge of one window.


On the rickety wooden dresser that stood against one wall, my stereo played ‘When October Goes’ when it wasn’t playing ‘I Want You.’ It was, after all, time for October to go.


It’s strange – I distinctly remember that fall in the dorm room, but not the following winter and spring. By then, I’d already moved much of my life into Boston. It wasn’t a huge move – my head and heart had been there for months anyway.


Still, for that one semester it was just me, on an absurdly high bed, in an absurd turret of an absurd castle, on a campus I could not wait to leave behind. The departure of October was a welcome one. I wanted out of college and into life. Out of Brandeis and into Boston. Leaving a smaller room of solitude for a larger one.


I should be over it now I know
It doesn’t matter much
How old I grow
I hate to see October go.
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