Somebody once described February as “the liver of months.” Maybe it was me. I have a right to coin aphorisms should I choose. It is so described because it is not top prime rib, but the humblest peasant fare in terms of tempting the palate of the imagination. Although, I find liver, onions and bacon a pretty decently hearty meal and not offensive at all.
Years ago I was in hospital for a viral infection, and the old man in the bed opposite, was an inspiring curmudgeon of the sort I aspire to be. Anyway, I grew quite fond of him. One evening dinner was served. It was liver and onions. About a half hour later a young nurse came by and said in her perky and hugely patronizing young-nurse-ish way, “You haven’t eaten your liver, Mr. Jones. Tsk-tsk, shame on you.” Mr. Jones responded thusly: “I am 82-years-old and I have never eaten fucking liver in my life, and I ain’t about to start now.” My admiration just soared.
But, back to February. I call it the liver of months because it simply isn’t up to much in terms of enchantment. It is the last month of winter and is often wet and chilly, and not quite yet spring in these parts. Getting there, but not quite arrived. Pope Gregory in his calendar must be thanked for rendering it the shortest month, but it still often seems intolerably long, all things being relative. In other words, February doesn’t seem to have much to recommend it.
Yet, a number of notable people were born in February, like me, for example (just yesterday, in case you missed it, and I know how you hate it when that happens. Oh, and my dad. And my maternal grandmother. And George Harrison, and also George Washington (today) and Abe Lincoln and Alan Rickman (my favorite actor who is not only a February guy, but his birthday is on the same day as mine, now how cool is that?). So, people earmarked for greater (or lesser) things escaped the womb and entered the February air. Maybe that’s why they are people of accomplishment. They saw how dreary was the month and decided to do what they could to make life better. I know I did. Didn’t succeed, but I don’t think anybody is keeping score.
February is also the month of Valentine’s Day. But, I have covered that ground in the past and won’t go again – possibly ever. Yet, suffice it to say there is no better month than dreary February to have in its course a day devoted to amour and its pursuits and manifestations in whichever way you want it to manifest. In ‘those’ ways if I have my choice.
There is just one little thing more about February – especially this February. This happens to be a leap year, which means we have an extra day to indulge our masochistic impulses that began way back on Groundhog Day at the beginning of the month.
It only happens ever four years, but feel free to curse that aforementioned Pope Gregory.
Does the Mayan calendar account for Leap Year? Maybe that will mean we have an extra day before it all ends.