On Friday, Desad and I completed the Xbox 360 game, Gears of War, in co-op mode on Hardcore. For those unacquainted with the video game lexicon, it marks the third Friday in a row in which Desad and I electronically fought evil subterranean monsters called Locust for five hours straight, while yelling random phrases like “Boomers flanking left! Flank! Boomers! Left!” and “Help me up! I’m geared. Hurry before the Berserker . . . ah s**t!” as well as the ever popular “What happened?! You died again?” We chose this over getting wasted with a lot of pretty girls.

I am the Renaissance geek, a man for all obsessions: anime, comics, biochemistry, video games, elves and dragons, epic literature, manga, word games, black and white movies, and Ren faires. I’ve done it all. A lover of all trades, yet admittedly a master of no one. Yet these multitude of distractions bare far more importance as I have begun school again and my obsessions are interfering with my homework . . . in a good way. This is particularly the case with a rich story, the essential read. For example, tomorrow I have a midterm for which, though open notebook, I have prepared very little, the cool autumn climate drawing me outside among the flame-colored woods and to another yearly reading of The Hobbit. Honestly the whole of human scholarship would benefit if instead of midterms it dedicated the whole month of October to reading beneath leaf piles Bradbury, Tolkien, Poe, Gaiman, Stoker, Alexander, Conan Doyle, and that wonderful unknown monk who inscribed Beowulf. Along with a vast multitude of other authors, who I consider “autumn writers,” these masters of the macabre and fantastical harvest such wondrous tales that for me makes this time of year so magical, so beautiful and necessary like the scent of wood smoke, crackle of leaves, and smiles of jack o’ lanterns.

Thus, teachers and professors out there must forgive me my departure from the syllabus, as I abandon papers and forget online discussion boards (who can remember to check the growing host of statements, opinions, and rants anyway?). Come see me again mid-January when the frigid cold and icy roads keep me chained to my assignments, and boredom snaps its whip to “Write! Write! Write!” lest I go mad with inactivity. Now is my time of the year, a season into which I can throw myself with great abandon.