What I miss are the seasons. Here you don’t notice time passing till it smacks you in the head. Photo by Robin Thom
January must be a month of some consequence, cause in September you feel it. September has always been a time of great change for me, often welcome, sometimes not. It’s the start of the school year, for one. It’s always been the line between mucking around and growing up. When I was younger that meant the annual pilgrimage to strip malls and JC Penny to get school clothes, the notebooks, the registration, the small rituals of great hope and promise. It was also the end of months of stasis that was already getting stale. September is also birthdays – mine, my mothers, and now our respective doubles in the shoeless family. But now I’m no longer the hopeful child. Now I’m the one at home, watching other people pack their things and go. This September my youngest sister and Manolo (Monalee) left, both of whom I’ve gotten closer to than I thought possible.
I’ve always been a bit closer to my older younger sister, or Loku Nangi if I ever called her that. To be honest, the younger one always intimidated me. She was always so happy and intelligent whereas my intelligence would careen violently. Then I left for school and when I came back she’d gone from a little kid with big hair to a beautiful girl with boyfriends. Which was a surprise. I still didn’t understand her, but when the big one went to school this year we had a year alone. I don’t know if we understand each other, but sometimes I can make her laugh and sometimes she gives me some sage advice and I’m OK with that. I’m glad I had this year with my youngest sister, but now the house is so empty. She’s the most thoroughly good person I know and I’ll miss her.
And another one is Monalee, or Manolo as she was. We started off on the wrong foot, publicly and in private. She thought I was a pompous ass, but I say I was just new in town and nervous. Then she went to the States and I forgot about her except the occasional bumping into’s at Quiz or what. Then we started talking and that was just normal until she asked me to play Scrabble. I have been playing Scrabble since I was 5 or 6. Even younger. Our family Scrabble board still has ink stains when I drew on it and got a thorough yelling at. Monalee thoroughly trounced me, which gave me newfound and lasting respect for her. We were playing online and I was cheating like it was my job but she still molested me in the worst way possible.
So, we became friends through our love of Scrabble, and later booze and food. Or drunkeness and gluttony as it were. Since knowing her I have embarassed myself (more) in public and acquired a paunch but I’ve also discovered that she’s also a remarkably good person. She’s honest to a self-immoliating fault and she keeps my wits on edge. She’s also been my conscience when I was an idiot and been a brick for me and the girlfriend. Not to mention that hanging out with her and that group of friends has made my life feel like a sitcom, in a good and entertaining way. I can count my true friends on one hand and she’s one of them. And that is all I have to say about that.