Typical of me, that at the moment of success, being fully booked for weeks, I should find myself most beset with doubts about whether I'm any good as a massage therapist. It used to drive Martha nuts, when I was in school: after the end of a semester, when it turned out I'd succeeded, my grades were good, my professors full of praise -- I'd go gloomy, dissatisfied, and doubtful. Maybe it's partly a primitive response, a reflex: if I were to delight in success, it would bring down the anger of the gods. Success exposes you, puts you on the map, makes you the target of poltergeists, controversialists, and spirits of envy. There is behind it, maybe, an existential conviction that if the universe was ever fully aware that I was here, it would crush me like flea between its fingernails.
I am aware, anyway of a strong impulse to jump overboard and begin a new life under a new name.
Meanwhile the trees are in full roaring leaf, crowding each other into the sky, shrugging sidewalks and driveways into ridges with their roots, struggling against each other, swaying and heaving like greco-roman wrestlers. It's hard to believe in Fall, or the Fall rains, right now.