30 days have September April June and November, all the rest have… except January. A 68 day suicide watch shoe-horned into 31 days. A calendar fonted in misery. A month of hacking coughs, a lack of places to put three pairs of new slippers and a slough of broken resolutions. A month that grabs you by the shoulders and shakes you, screaming “why-are-you-here”.
Pilot once sang a song about it…”You make me sad with your eyes you’re telling me lies…don’t go, don’t go…” A low point in vinyl; a lower point in sentiment. I always thought they were referring to a girl named January …please Pilot fans, enlighten me. If so, then she must have been the grimmest of the calendar girls. Death’s Cheerleader. And parents what were you thinking ? Wasn’t June enough ? May ?!
Every year, every fibre of my being is shouting “January …Fuck Off.” From the spectacle of shops waving your pre-Christmas purchases at half price…. to bills put off from the last three months, nobody being able to afford to go out and the panoply of grey outside the window. And you know the mild weather has got the rat population’s libido working overtime, knocking out broods by the dozen. They’ll be out of post-conjugal cigars by the end of the week and ready to find somehwere warm to call home.
What about the positives ? The chance to start anew…put the old year behind us ? I see an arbitrary Gregorian monthiness, a mask for vile weather. I struggle to peer out of bed, if only to catch the eye of self annihilation. Too many ghosts and not enough angels. A Facebook purge ? They are paying the price of January as much as anything, that and a lack of a Happy Christmas Carl. Which stops me wandering the streets, kicking tramps money over and being spiteful.
Other months are brushed with glitter, sprinkled with the faint sheen of hope….February, just the sight of a crocus has me gasping for air in wonder, in expectation. Unexpected warmth in May, planning of summer days, lighter mornings. The showy, mid-year months speak for themselves with their sweat glistened, colour-ridden showiness, but even October’s spells of crazy leaf dervish, brittle frosty sun and early morning white-crunch grass has moments to recall.
I used to love “January …The Snow Years”. Scarf weather, “Wrap up warm” from your mum. Wet gloved from snowman building. Icy. Slipping. Danger. Now I feel it’s purpose is only to fluff misanthropy, snuggle-buddy depression and write love letters to self loathing – who hates that shit.