It’s March, and the year’s almost over.

4 March 2010 § Leave a comment

Nine or ten years ago this month, I walked into the small alcove in the grocery store in which the local bank took up residence and told the friendly teller that I would like to get twenty dollars out of my savings account. His name was Frank, and it was a small enough town that he didn’t ask me for my ID – I think he knew my mom, who was the armored car guard that too frequently found me lurking around town with my friends when I was supposed to be ‘grounded’.

It occurred to me then that at the east end of this grocery store sat a bank and a liquor store within mere meters of each other, and the temptation to either spend one’s paycheck on liquor or rob them both was ominous. The door heading to the parking lot was between them. It would be so easy. Bang. Sip. Inhale.

I asked Frank what day it was when I filled out the withdrawal slip, and he replied that it was already March. The year had already slipped through our fingers, the fast and delicate bank teller fingers from which nothing could ever escape, my scarred, teenaged tentacles, disquieted by angst and breakneck carelessness, through which Alaska’s nationsize glaciers (melting or not) could have probably snuck through without being noticed – they all had an unequivocal tension we could not explain, could not define with words or phrases from books, and they kept us from controlling the time that swept by us with the same abandon I sought in boarded up houses and buildings whose businesses and owners had left to rot years before.

– The year’s almost over, Sean.
– But it’s only March. What are you talking about?
– Just trust me, kid. You’ll figure it out eventually, but I don’t want to ruin it for you now. Here’s your twenty dollars. Have a nice day.

Someone else said once that the Ides of March is always at hand.

I think of them both now.


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