Monday, February 11, 2008

February

In addition to my personal journal, I have kept a quote journal for the past eighteen years and have often claimed that if you really wanted to know how I felt or gain an insight into The Full Curt," you should cast off the ramblings of my diary and check out my collection of quotes. Several notebooks have been filled with bits and pieces of quotations from books, films and things my friends have said or that I have overheard that have struck me as funny, poetic, interesting, philosophical, intelligent, spiritual and just plain whimsical. My friend Lori over at Fermented Fur made a comment about yesterday's post that reminded me of something Tom Robbins wrote in one his best books, Jitterbug Perfume, which you can order here. If you'll indulge me I'd like to share it with you.

"They say that February is the shortest month, but you know, they could be wrong.

Compared, calendar page against calendar page, it looks to be the shortest all right. Spread between January and March like lard on bread, it fails to reach the crust on either side. In its galoshes–and you'll never catch February in its stocking feet–it's a full head shorter than December, although in leap years, when it has growth spurts, it comes up to April's nose.

However more abbreviated than its cousin it may look, February feel longer than any of them. It is the meanest moon of winter, all the more cruel because it will masquerade as spring, occasionally for hours at a time, only to rip off its mask with a sadistic laugh and spit into every gullible face, behavior that grows quickly old.

February is pitiless and it is boring. That parade of red numerals on its page adds up to zero: birthdays of politicians, a holiday reserved for rodents, what kind of celebrations are those? The only bubble in the flat champagne of February is Valentine's Day. It was no accident that our ancestors pinned Valentine's Day on February's shirt: he or she lucky enough to have a lover in frigid, antsy February has cause for celebration, indeed.

Except to the extent that it 'tints the buds and swells the leaves within,' February is as useless as the extra 'R' in its name. It behaves like an obstacle, a wedge of slush and mud and ennui, holding both progress and contentment at bay.

James Joyce was born in February, as was Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo, which goes to show that writers born in February are poor at beginnings, although worse at knowing when to stop.

If February is the color of lard on rye, its name is that of wet wool trousers. As for sound, it is an abstract melody played on a squeaky violin, the petty whine of a shrew with cabin fever. O February, you may be little but you're not small. Were you twice your tiresome length, few of us would survive to greet the merry month of May."

Lori urged me to join her for a getaway in Vegas where we could talk dogs and dogs and dogs but then thought better of it because I needed Duncan just to make it through the month. As I stayed home today, sleeping most it away on the couch, occasionally walking Duncan down to the edge of the yard for a potty break, I knew exactly what she meant. He's the one thing that's brought me any solace this afternoon. I have watched the weather turn from bright and sunny to gray and dark, then fill with snow flurries and now what looks like rain. Being inside with Duncan, safe from February's bi-polar disorder, has been comforting and safe. Being dogless now would be most unwise.

Perhaps doctors should rethink their treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Rather than urge the use of UV lamps they should prescribe a litter of Golden Retriever pups for, to misquote A.A. Milne, no one could be un-cheered by a Golden."

3 comments:

Lisa said...

Ah ha! Now I know why you didn't email me back today :)

You say so eloquently what is true...this time of year sucks. Good for you being home with Duncan and writing.

Next year I'm getting the kind of UV lamp you can wear strapped around your head.

Lori said...

I can't imagine the horror of being dogless in February. I hated the conference in Vegas last year... even though it's a veterinary conference (Hey, is Ken going???) we are all there sans dog. I need "my boys" to remind me that there might be something worthwhile about "bi-polar February." It's the depths of winter here. At least in March, spring technically begins, and the occasional warm day will come along and reassure us that February is really gone for another year. Rub Duncan's ears, his cheeks, his paws, breathe in his warm doggy smell, and you'll remember what spring is like. Hugs.

Ruth said...

A depressed person would be too busy cleaning up the poo to be sad?