Saturday, September 20, 2008


September never got a fair fight, which was unfortunate.

January wasn't afraid to wind up for its punches, and June worked more with quick jabs. December cheated; he weighted his gloves with Christmas and New Year's Eve. April and May were girls, and while the rest of the months shuffled their feet and coughed nervously at the thought of fighting girls, April and May hit deliberately. By the time their opponent set aside ideas of chivalry, it was too late. He had already lost.

July and August didn't have much in the way of strength, but they were quick. They dodged left and right, confusing their opponent with heat and relaxation, seemingly never-ending weekends and sand. November punched hard, pummeling into submission. October had a late run, cold and hard until the very end of the match, where he sprang into action with jack-o-lanterns and trick or treats. Even February, the runty, forgotten, underdog, always managed to score a hit or two.

September couldn't win.

September was uncomfortably warm and uncomfortably cold. He was slow and thin. His glasses would always get knocked off, and his shoes were too heavy. He was always on the defense. School started in September, and that always seemed to have him in the corner. Opponents didn't even need an advantage. September beat himself.

When he fought February, he tripped on the ice. Against June he melted. May and April were the worst of all. September would just stand there, letting himself get hit until he couldn't stand up anymore.

Maybe without holidays or school, September could have fought and held his own. The weather wasn't terrible in September. Scarfs were optional, and sometimes Sunday evenings were warm enough for a game of pick-up soccer. September could have been a balanced fighter, not too quick and not too strong, but enough of both to win once in a while.

There was one fight, though, a Tuesday night fight where September fought January, where things were different. No one ever came on Tuesday night, and the manager just wanted a quick fight so he could close up and go home.

At first, the match was predictable. January was inaccurate, but hit hard enough. September was in the corner early, and the referee had to pull January off more than once.

It was the fourth time that the months had gotten tangled up when September did something new. The referee dropped his arm, and January wound up to throw what would everyone assumed would be the last punch of the match. Suddenly, though, September got this calm look on his face. He dropped his gloves.

It was suddenly a warm Friday, early evening, on the campus of a suburban high school. The sun drew straight, long lines with the linearity of the courtyard, chairs stretching for miles in shadows on the ground. Litter was everywhere, and crows and chipmunks scavenged loudly around, looking for dinner.

In the corner of the courtyard, a group of friends sat playing cards and snacking. They wore shorts; the sun that hit their skin was more than enough to keep them warm. A gentle breeze drifted across the area. The friends laughed.

January was reeling. September hit him over and over with his right glove, winding up and striking repeatedly, determinedly, sweat flying. One more punch sent his opponent sprawling on the ground, flat-out.

The referee counted, and, slowly, the month stood up, testing his balance. September looked balanced and alert. He was ready for anything. He brought his gloves up.

Then January snowed, and everyone went home for the night.


Don't be creepy! said...

September is my favorite month. :P

April and May are girls? Really? I guess it's all the pretty flowers and such...But wait, does that mean ALL the other months are guys?!

Anonymous said...

March is the only month that you didn't mention at all. :(

Frances said...

i don't really get it >.<

but it made for a interesting read.

emma said...

how refreshing

Don't be creepy! said...

Ditto Emma and Frances. Except I kind of get it, and also, I'm glad you stopped making all those The Things They Carried connections because I didn't really get them. :P

Jeff said...

that was awesome!

vspkaq... i got the word verification wrong. Thought it was that, obvs not...


Abby said...

Dude, do you ever submit this stuff? You know, to writing magazines and the like?