Freshman year, he was a tall brunette senior who served at Tombs. He drank more than anyone I’d ever met and happened to live in my exact room when he was a freshman. Things ended shortly after he asked me about my first hook-up at Georgetown.
Sophomore year, he was a tall brunette senior who served at Tombs. We had the same favorite book -- he had a first edition of it at his house -- and disagreed over the importance of using someone’s preferred gender pronouns. I planned on seeing him until he left for Ireland to attend grad school; he planned on terminating our fling before it got too serious.
Every autumn, I look forward to finding my October Boyfriend. We meet through a friend-of-a-friend at a party with no more than 25 people, even though more than 40 had promised to come. At a respectable five beers deep a piece, we’re able to feign interest in one another’s intellectual capacities long enough to find ourselves removed from the rest of the group. We go back to his place. I marvel at the luxury of his full-sized bed; he surprises me with a text the next day.
We spend the next three weekends together. October witnesses summer ease into winter; the sunlight on a pleasant day is crisp, tired, apathetic. My October Boyfriend talks more and more about his post-grad plans while I flounder beneath the cumulative weight of a statistics midterm and four-page Problem of God essay. I stress when he doesn’t text me; I stress even more when he does. We consciously avoid discussing our relationship status, because that’s how real adults date: exclusivity is implicit until one partner accidentally introduces the other as “boyfriend” to an acquaintance.
Tragically, inevitably, we stop seeing each other. I envy his 21 years for the access that they grant to Town Danceboutique and other havens of homosexual debauchery. He has plenty of fish; I’ve got the kid I met once at Leo’s and two matches on Tinder. I don’t hear from him, never see him around campus. Leaves have browned and fallen, midterms are over, I can see my breath at night. It’s November 1.
October is my favorite time of the year to fall in love -- because it’s the only time when I can. January is a month-long attempt at self-improvement, February is spent lamenting my loneliness, March and April are too unpredictable, May through September is unbearably hot, and November and December are deceptively cold. October, though -- October is finite. As the Earth tilts on its axis further away from the Sun, my physiology begins to scream at me: find a partner now, lest you be doomed to celibacy until the frost melts.
I am insatiably attracted to relationships that come with an expiration date, thus explaining my mutual attraction to October and, evidently, the senior servers at Tombs. Perhaps my sentiments are explained by a heightened sense of romanticism developed during childhood viewings of “50 First Dates”. If Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s love can persevere by way of VHS tape, I can make things work with a graduating senior. Perhaps, however, they go much deeper than that: my infatuations with doomed love could be rooted in a subconscious effort to protect myself from experiencing true heartbreak.
I was abroad my junior year, and therefore did not have the pleasure of claiming an October Boyfriend. Now, as October of 2015 draws to a close, I am vaguely saddened by the slow realization that I won’t be granted an October Boyfriend for my senior year either. Fortunately, I have hope. This could be a sign of emotional maturity, of having grown beyond the need for an unremarkable fling made passionate by its impossibility. At the wise age of 21, I’m finally able to move beyond a compulsive need for romance as determined by the calendar year. October’s end no longer marks the termination of a shallow love affair; it introduces the potential for legitimate intimacy.