January 2019 has come and gone. February is here, smirking at my door step, holding up my list of to do’s and goals. The paper has a bit of rice stuck on the edges, along with some makeup smudges and wrinkles. January is standing behind her, bedraggled, dressed in a suit and talking into a cell phone. A candy cane is hanging from his left ear and a bit of New Year’s confetti is still in his bangs. An Uber pulls up and away he goes until next year.
“Say, author,” February asks, still holding the list and standing on my front porch in stilletos. “When are you going to edit your short story your editor got back to you about, oh…six weeks ago? And isn’t your writing room done yet? And when exactly are you going to get on your exercise schedule, huh?”
She bats her eyelashes and tosses back a red curl. I’m debating between a good old fashioned door slam or a Tae Kwon Do front kick while she continues her babbling.
“This list isn’t going to complete itself you know. Chip, chop. And when’s the last time you actually did some cardio? Looking a little pudgy, aren’t we…?”
It’s times like these when I call upon my trusty sidekick. Some may call it self confidence. Others may say it’s healthy boundary setting and self esteem.
I call mine…Mr. Swinebottom.
“Hey, buddy! Who’s at the door?” Mr. Swinebottom asks, appearing beside me. He peers openly through his thick, black glasses, smiling broadly. “We’re still getting ready to play Pokemon Monopoly, right? I got dibs on Togepei.”
“February’s trying to guilt trip me,” I explain, motioning to the woman. “January finally left earlier. He was hanging around our porch for a bit too long there.”
“I see,” Mr. Swinebottom speaks slowly, crossing his arms and appraising the visitor. February smacks her gum, staring back. They appear to be sizing eachother up.
“Let’s see, February’s the month of love. What’s the opposite… Oh, wait. October! Can you come out a minute? We need you…”
From the front yard I see the ground shift and split. Green arms and hands appear, along with an unearthly moaning. A black fog begins rolling across the yard.
“You’d better run along now, my dear,” my friend chortles. “You know how October loves to give you zombie hugs whenever he sees you.”
I watch as February screams and dashes away, one of her stilletos getting caught in the mud. October stills after awhile and goes back to sleep, the fog disappearing last.
“February’s pretty short, isn’t she?” I observe, closing the door after wishing October a good sleep.
“Well, 28 days doesn’t get you very far. She’ll grow a day next year. Maybe she’ll be a little more encouraging and polite. Come on, pal. You’re doing fine. Rest is the key to success. Let’s play Monopoly!”