It’s very difficult to make up one’s mind about anything this time of year. It’s very hard to commit. I’ve noticed it in the flock of pigeons that fly around outside my apartment all day. First of all, they seem to have doubled in number over the winter.
There must be two hundred of them now, and they are extremely active of late—swooping between my building and the next in a thick, shape-shifting paisley of purple white and gray. It’s quite beautiful, actually, the way they rise and dive as one, simultaneously changing direction, some sort of primordial communication at play in mid-air. Except that they just fly around and around in circles for hours, tiny brains abuzz and aflutter—all messed up with early mating season hormones, probably. Even when they do alight on a ledge or a rooftop, it’s only for a second. A moment later, they get spooked and they’re off again without a plan or destination. Also, I fucking hate pigeons.
Distracted by the disgusting flapping of four hundred dirty wings and that cooing sound that makes my skin crawl, I spent a full hour yesterday writing the first paragraph of a piece that’s probably not worth that amount of work in its entirety. I could never quite fit all the caveats it seemed I needed—a “but” or a “though” or an over-worded rationalizing clause after every sentence, betraying what was obviously confused thinking from the outset.
The weather, too, is never more frustratingly fickle. 60 degrees one day, 30 the next. Rain? Snow? Sun? How is anyone supposed to know what to wear? You’ll be sweating in the coat, freezing in just the sweater. As was pointed out yesterday, we’ll all surely get sick.
Ash Wednesday will happen this month. Always very confusing. And Saint Patrick’s Day, too. Also confusing, as drunk as everybody tries to get. And with the wrong color beer. The college basketball players will try very hard at their big tournament. And one team will win. And some people will win their office pools. But most of us will lose. Because, again, no one really knows what teams to pick. I mean, good luck, right? Oh, and the ides, on the 15th, beware them, of course.
But there are good things to look forward to! By the end of the month, this miserable winter will finally, finally be officially over. Sure, it will probably snow at least once more. (It does that sometimes, you know. And people die of cancer. Young people, far too young.) But it will be consistently warmer. It will be spring. Maybe you will clean your apartment. Maybe you’ll start your days with a sniff of a bar of Irish Spring soap in the shower and step out wet and whistling and ready for a fresh new beginning. Hey, who knows, maybe you’ll get around to starting on that New Year’s resolution? Maybe you’ll start eating healthier and maybe actually try to get some exercise for the first time since 2009. (Was this your resolution? It was mine. I pretty much keep a standing resolution, the same one every year. All too predictable, I know. But, hey, I’m no one special. Why do I need some sort of extraordinary New Year’s resolution every year? Especially considering the very slim chances I’ll actually act on it even a little bit.)
I think it’s fair to say that we could all stand to get ourselves into better shape. Or just generally improve ourselves, right? Maybe this spring will be the time. Maybe we’ll really do it. It’s hard to say, though, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not really up to us. If it’s God’s will, it will happen. There’s not much we can do to control these things. It’s like the weather. We can hope for the best. But really, we’ll just have to wait and see.