so long that it lasted into march
February 1, 2002 05:34 AM

So it's February. [With two Rs, not just the one. Not febYOOarrie, but FEBruhahry, if that makes any phonetic sense.]

February is a confused month full of meaning. It's a month of import.

Today the weather is set to be near-summer. And then tomorrow, back comes winter. People are saying "Oh, the Weather". As if it's really a surprise. As if they don't live in Virginia, they don't remember last year. They don't remember the confusion that is February.

Or they're just making conversation. And "Tomorrow promises to be thirty degrees colder than today. Yes, it's February." isn't good enough. We're Americans (or maybe just people). We want to view the world through its exceptions. There needs to be more excitement in the weather.

Tomorrow promises to be cold.

Tomorrow. It's a story unto itself. Like a Canadian movie, I'm surprised to see the detail with which I remember it. The way I sat in a car, almost what I was wearing. But not the things we said. What matters is they were the same things. And we were so young. Very young, younger than we are now when we start to lose hair and get fat and maybe not care so much. Even though we are, in fact, still so young. Just older and a little less afire.

I remember what I was wearing because it was what I loved to wear in February. Legs covered, short skirt, boys' t-shirt, sweater, maybe a coat. Layers. So when the month released you from winter or spring for an afternoon you were ready. Anyhow, you were inside and then outside again so often. You needed to be prepared. Needed to be a fashion girl scout.

I order my own girl scout cookies now. I get them from my boss's towheaded child. Or from my boss; the girl really has minimal involvement. When I was a girl I walked round the neighborhood with a non-recyclable sheet that had a kookaburra cartoon in the top corner. I suppose the bird sat in an old gum tree, because that's how the song goes. Was there some sort of Australian theme to cookie sales then?

So I walked around with this kookaburra card and people filled it out. And I was so painfully shy. The sort of shy that makes raising a hand or knocking on a door almost ache. That was no good.

I'm glad my girl scout cookie purchases don't come at that expense to a small girl.

How can I be so grown up? Has it really been so long as that?

It has. Eighteen years since the cookies and the bird. Nine years since tomorrow and that car. And the parking lot is now the parking lot of a paint shop. Not so surprising.

I've promised to write myself another series of valentines [last year: start here and go back from there]. Of memories, really. Of things that mattered. Because it's February, and that stirs nostalgia for things that will eventually fade in clarity or intensity.

Ironic that I've been drinking rosemary [for the bronchitis that just won't quite leave]. Rosemary is memory.

And February was so long that it lasted into March
And found us walking a path alone together.
You stopped and pointed and you said, that's a crocus,
And I said, What's a crocus? and you said, It's a flower,
I tried to remember, but I said, What's a flower?
You said, I still love you.

« defending religion | Main | things you just do »
in this section
back to archives
October 2004
August 2004
June 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
June 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
August 1996
August 1995
July 1993
April 1993
August 1992
May 1992
October 1989
July 1987
January 1987
September 1984
July 1982
more info
email me
design by seven ten
about the site wicked thoughts edge of the season arts links we have brains