March has found me occupying a very different world than just a month ago. February is a difficult month for me, always has been. Valentine's Day is right in the middle, and it depresses me that love and romance have been so mercilessly raped by greeting card companies and chocolatiers. But that is an abstract matter, like the failures of capitalism or fatherhood. There is no intimate emotional currency to make me miserable.
Instead, my February misery comes from my memories. I've been in love thrice in my life, and when each one of those relationships ended, a familiar drama ensued. Familiar to me, and to you, as well, I'm sure. Twice that drama played out in the second month of the year, shortly before St. Valentine's Day. That fact is small potatoes, though, as the pain I felt radiated and glowed all by itself. When the woman you happen to love strolls out the door, that date on the calender is of no consequence. Crushing loneliness and cold rejection put you in a time and place not on any calender or map.
It is only in retrospect, when the ache transforms into a bittersweet memory, that I start to notice the details. And having done that, I've discovered that February is a month I need to avoid like warm sushi and Glenn Beck. With no money to travel, perhaps next February I could simply lock myself in a closet with a bucket and a months' supply of Power Bars. Although that may be a bit drastic. Forget the bucket, I'll leave my closet to poop. In fact, my whole flat is pretty safe, so long as I don't go out or talk to anyone. Just me and my dog and cats. Hell, that sounds like a good plan for the other 11 months, too.
Happily, February is over! It is now March. Outside, it is close to 60 degrees, but there isn't a spot of green anywhere. It feels wrong. Warmth like this should wait for trees and plants to appreciate it. The ground is baby-shit brown and littered with bits of trash that have accumulated in snow banks, now melted and flooding my basement. In contrast to leafless trees and a landscape free of plants and flowers is a painfully blue sky. We've all heard the tautology about how the sky makes the sea blue, and the sea makes the sky blue. This sky is bluer than the North Atlantic has ever been. It brings to mind Mallorca and the Mediterranean Sea. Old ships with clean, white sails and happy brown people celebrating the sun.
But Boston, right now, does not look her best. She is not properly attired for all this sunshine. We had a terrific rainstorm last week, with gusts of wind you could hear while lying in bed. And during the day, the sky was gray and low. That seems better suited to an old, cold-weather harbor city like Boston this time of year.
My inclination is to stay inside, but Annie compels me to go outside, so out I go. Down Gardner to North Union, up to Broadway and over to Silk Street, then home. It is in that fashion that Annie the dog saves me from myself 100 times a day, in one way or another. The ground may be dead right now, but Annie shows me with her little, black nose that nature is percolating, even if I can't see it yet.