Spring comes late this year.
Slipping in between the sheets just when I’d lost all consciousness, had shifted from a long winter malaise to a true coma. I can barely rouse myself to open my eyes as the room grows brighter.
My brain crawls from its winter shell, not unlike a hideous sticky butterfly after months in a chrysalis state. Only the butterfly is ravenous and her wings are tattered.
November was bleak. Like a prescient, irritating, bitter guest at the dinner table, predicting doom and sharing poor news.
Locking the windows on the last of the fall’s bounty. Finishing the Cabernet without sharing, cackling at racist jokes.
December was a long day with a narcissistic friend.
The exhausting false cheer of the worst possible season. The endless fatty meals, poorly planned conversations, missed connections, dropped lines.
The loneliness of the solstice, the boozy denial of the morning after. The crawl towards the always awkward birth of a new year.
January is best not spoken of.
February was worse.
Like a break up with an angry borderline, each day bringing its new agenda from hell. Cold hands, slippery wet steps, smelly dogs, tread-less tires on a sleek road, dark mornings, cream curdling in lukewarm coffee.
A month of shit.
March was still tough. Think of a long weekend with the relatives, the uncle on a bender, the cousins out of jail, a flatulent dog, cold spaghetti and stale beer.
You thought there would be an end of the madness, a bottom to the pit, the friend who came to rescue you from the relatives. But she never came.
Now, April had its moments. Early on there was a teasing wink from the sun. A smattering of flowers and begrudging smiles from strangers at the gas station.
But the rains came back, as if the bipolar x -boyfriend, institutionalized back in February, had broken out and returned.
This time there was no energy to bring cheer to the situation, to praise the end of the drought, to make the most of the mud on my shoes, to don a cheery scarf against the dampness on the back of my neck.
Fuck this, I thought, watching my windows smear.
My ever eloquent end-of-the-winter blues.
But today, Goddamn it, the sun is shining. April 30th, and it feels like the world has decided it’s heliocentric after all .
At the beach, the puppy rolls ecstatically in broken mollusk shells, chases frightened children and barks at the surf. Yee haw, her bright eyes say to me.
I contemplate the possibility of summer’s ease.
Flip flops, long evenings, candle wax dripping on the picnic table, a white dress over burned shoulders, berries plucked casually from the bushes along the path.
I watch the sun setting over the water, and feel myself waiting anxiously at the door for summer, my soul mate.
Like the repeatedly abandoned lover, I always take him back.
He rounds the corner, a jacket thrown casually over his shoulder, hope teasing in his smile.
Yes, you bastard, I did.
Love this Joanell. Your writing is almost as beautiful as you are. Remember you have a friend and I dare say after reading this a soulmate living just a couple of blocks away. I’m always here if you need an ear or someone to help you finish that wine. 🙂
Thanks Pat! Actually in Tiburon these days, but not far …