Southern Exposure

My father and I have always had a fall connection, a deep and shared affection for the moment when the world turns crisp and things must die to make us feel alive. We’re both suckers for that hangnail moment between summer lush and ice-blue stillness, the liminal season of decay before the sleep. The smell of wood smoke, rotting apples, and the Urge for Going.

I spent teenage years sailing down the grey snake roads of South Vermont, listening to Blue and Hits and feeling deeply understood by both my father and the warbling woman on the discman hooked up to the tape deck. “Urge for Going,” I always thought, belonged on Blue, the album that taught me my own melancholy—with its tenderness and too-young-to-be-threadbare heart, so different from the husky hard stuff I’d grow into later. Turns out, this was a last minute omission, and the song wound…

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