I love this time of year. The leaves start to change, the air takes on a chill, and I erect scarecrows in my front yard, each representing one of my exes, using clothes that I stole from their cars.

Every year, I count down the minutes until the first hayride of the season. I made this year’s reservation about six months ago, from the beach, during summer, which I hate. I actually hate all seasons except for Fall. In fact, I wish it could be Fall year round so I didn’t have to experience the other seasons. I love Fall so much that if anyone ever said anything bad about it, I’d probably murder them in their sleep, lol.

Once I’m in that hay-strewn trailer, anything goes. WHOOOOOO! FUCK SUMMER! I may even whip off this burnt sienna pill vest with a 20°F rating, which will protect my core in the case of sudden ice age, but leaving my arms to freeze and wither off. I must wear my pill vest all autumn, due to my core taking on a semi-permanent chill of happiness. Once I put this baby on, it doesn’t leave my body unless I’m overtaken by the urge to go naked leaf rolling before bed. It’s a good way to end up with Lyme disease, but, YOLO!

The vest also keeps my trunk toasty while my arms remain free to gather fallen leaves and pick apples, just like our forefathers. It displays the sleeves of my fisherman’s cable knit sweaters, which I own in oyster, driftwood, and wet sand. I’ve never met a real fisherman, of course, because they’re mythical, but I do live four hours from an aquarium.

Oh, it will be joyous! I’ve asked my hayride guests to leave their kids at home for this special, adults-only event. My invites made it politely clear that this is a child-free hayride, at least on my hay bench row. I don’t much care for children on hayrides. I don’t much care for children during Autumn at all, to be honest.

During the ride, we’ll chat about the crisp air and the faint smell of manure. We may even crack a few private jokes about the old, lopsided farmer driving the tractor. Is the manure smell him? Is he drunk? If the trailer starts to feel like it’s tipping, I’ll think to myself, Even if the trailer flips right now and I’m crushed by the tractor, I wouldn’t mind. This is exactly how I want to go. Enjoying Fall!!

After the hayride, we’ll wander into the barn for some locally brewed cider, which I also love. I pine for cider all year, exactly the way I imagine a drug addict pines for crack. Cider is one of my top five most important things in the universe. It comes in right below Family. The wall hanging on my mantel reads, LIVE, LAUGH, CIDER.

Then we’ll stand around, my guests and me, in a closed cluster away from the din of children, in our tall boots and pill vests, savoring our cider, just enjoying being in a barn together with strangers. We’ll see the farmer’s wife, who, yes, is definitely drunk, but not on the cider, because the cider is really just very warm apple juice that’s been sitting out for a long time.

After that, we’ll leave before any of us has to pee, because we won’t want to use the port-o-potty with a broken lock and a bushel of apples deliberately leaning against it, which is sort of unsanitary if you think about it.

But before we leave, I’ll buy a gallon of the unpasteurized local farm cider and some apples to arrange on my kitchen counter for a social media post later about how much I love Fall. Then I’ll drink the gallon of cider in one sitting and just tell people it was a cleanse, and that’s why it’s okay that it made me so very sick. Did you not know that cider clears out toxins? It’s true, but only if it’s made on a farm.

I’ll be taking advantage of all the hayrides within a three-hour radius of my home until Halloween. So, if you’re looking for me, just follow the tractor treads and the trail of cider cups! (I tend to litter during Fall due to the adrenaline.) And if you don’t catch me on the hayride circuit or in cider rehab, I’ll be at the office Halloween party. Just look for the sexy nutmeg latté!