Monday, April 7, 2008

The Scenic Route

The jury remains out as to the veracity of T.S. Elliot’s famous adage concerning the inherent cruelty of April. Admittedly, my history with the month has been a mixed back. I had the (good?) fortune to be born during said month, and have recently, and I would argue shockingly, managed to see the back of my 23rd year and the beginning of a 24th. “Twenty four hours in a day: hardly enough time to sleep, let alone repent” according to one of Brothers Karamazov – likely Ivan the libertine – but it really could be any of the three with some variation in context. Should this same logic be applied to years? Who has time to repent these days? 24, I believe, now makes me officially too old for this shit (what “this shit” actually is remaining unspecified) but still too young to become a Torie (which incidentally, originally meant ‘brigand’.) This has been the first time in a long while that I did not spend the actual day of my birthday itself dwelling on mortality - which was a nice change of affairs.

As for the month of April itself, last April was when the wreckage of my life was collected back together after a grim month and a half of stagnation with the year peaking in late May or early June, only to be deeply entrenched within the realm of Dante by the end of July. By this logic, this would make August the cruelest of months, but it is a hard month to fault, what with that strange tint to the light which Faulkner wrote so well about.

* I would like to note here that I am in full agreement that those first two paragraphs look like some sort of smarmy book report. This is not to say that I apologize for this, indeed I remain firmly unrepentant in my folly.

This April however may or may not confirm Elliot. While the start has been “interesting” – interesting being a fairly obvious euphemism for something far grimmer – I still think the month has potential. I have already succumbed to some sort of god-awful sinus infection which I believe is making its way to my lungs, resulting in me starting my mornings by hawking up horrible gobs of occasionally bloody lung foam (I wonder if the solid bits really are morsels of the actual lung itself?)

This month has also already seen a day at the beach go horribly awry when a weekend excursion turned into a reenactment of the Botan Death March, (although mercifully with beer and seafood at the end.) This turn of events came about as a result of the decision of the French authorities to retract the bridge linking the beach to the parking lot at 6:00 PM, despite the fact that this is very much prime beach properties. We had of course arrived at 6:03 only to find no bridge and the car that we had taken to the beach on the other side of a march. Of course, the next point of crossing is a highway overpasses some 15 km (about 8 miles) away - suffice it to say, it often pays to read large official looking signs posted in the middle of the bridge when you walk over warning of its eventual closure. As always, it is important to have a sense of humor about these things, and I have long since accepted that any trip taken with other international students will rapidly become a comedy of errors. The caws of the flamingos that inhabited the march resembled disconcertingly resembled laughter to the degree that one couldn’t help but thinking that even a bird that spends its day with its head under water can see the ridiculousness of our situation. It also helped that I kept good company on the trek, including two Italians, of whom one of which has an air of Inspector Clouceau about him, often with delightfully funny consequences. Eventually, two other friends who had taken bicycles reappeared and agreed to help us out, cutting the 30 plus kilometer roundtrip in half.

As for the rest of the month, I will just have to see how it goes. Here is hoping that no one decides to try to show me fear in a handful of dust.

1 comment:

Morgan said...

Most of April, like yourself, comes under the wrathful eye of Ares, Alex. The cruelest month, w/ or w/out seafood