April 3rd, 2021

Venus

Idol Survivor: "Quaran-Warpen-Torpor"

Quaran-Warpen-Torpor
idol survivor | daily-fic challenge, day 15, #1 | 740 words

@#!@#!@#!@#!

It occurred to me just the other day that the beginning of April was coming up, and with that, it eventually also dawned on me that April 15 would be happening just two weeks later.

Tax Day?!? Is that why I keep getting those email ads from Turbo Tax? I mean, they seemed a little aggressive, given that it was still Dece-Janu-February…

Oh, no. Crap!

Ugh, this entire past year-plus has been the vaguest Vague that ever vagued when it comes to the passage of time. Do you know how long it took me last year to figure out that it wasn't still March? Almost July! That kind of thing is already a problem in Sacramento, because there's so much relentless heat that it often seems like summer starts in March or April and just keeps going until the end of October. Day after day, the sky is clear and blue, and the temperature is usually too hot. It's like time is in stasis for six to nine months of the year, until the rainy season finally starts and snaps you out of it.

About a week before Halloween, I wondered why everyone was hyping it so heavily in August. And just before Thanksgiving, which completely snuck up on me, I wondered why people seemed to be panicking about finishing their Christmas shopping when they still had two months left.

Every calendar event was a surprise. And worse yet, once each of them had happened, they still didn't trigger any readjustment of my own internal calendar. Every one of them was like a pebble passing under a bus, immediately forgotten.

The kicker was when I was coming home from a bike ride one day, and found myself thinking that I hadn't hiked in the Sierras yet that year, and was it too close to the start of snow season to fit that in?

AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Well, yes, yes it was. Because it was January, not October. We had just gone through Christmas less than a month before, but my brain had finally made it to "October" and gotten stuck there.

And after a couple of minutes, I remembered what had happened to my hiking season last year. The problem started with the 100-degree-plus temperatures in June, and that extreme heat in an already hot summer continued all the way through mid-October. Then it was compounded by wildfire smoke, not just in the mountains and forests but also in the valley where I live, so that everyone was trapped indoors much of the time through mid-October as well.

In a year in which being out in nature was the only thing left we could still enjoy and do, a lot of people in California lost that too.

In many ways, we're always trying to endure the summer in Sacramento area each year. But with the smoke and the COVID isolation, there was so much more to endure. Time passed more slowly than ever before, and that still seems to be true now—even as it jumps ahead to the next holiday, the next season, and I am as woefully unprepared as before.

These daily stories for Idol (two-per-day now, as of today) have only made the problem worse. So much of my focus for the last two weeks has been on the deadline of the next day that I've hardly come up for air. When this year's tax deadline came up at dinner last night, I nearly went into a panic over how thoroughly I had spaced out the arrival of April and what that month always means.

Thank goodness for that one-month delay of the federal filing deadline this year, and that California decided to delay the state filing deadline as well. I really need that extra time this year!

So, I'll be ordering TurboTax from Amazon this weekend, and it'll be here in a few days. That leaves me with about five more weeks to finish our taxes, if I need it.

And yet, even as I set all this in motion, I know that it will go the way of everything else this year. I'll get our taxes done and send them in, and pretty soon I'll be wondering why Memorial Day has arrived out of nowhere.

It's April, and Easter Sunday will be here tomorrow. But as soon as it's over, the calendar in my mind will already be unwinding back to some earlier time…


--/--

Venus

Idol Survivor: "In The Attic"

In The Attic
idol survivor | daily-fic challenge, day 15 #2

x-x-x-x-x


The ghost in the attic
creaks floorboards,
spins whirlwinds,
rattles the trunks
of mementos
from generations past.

No one has ever seen it.

The evidence is there,
strewn across the floor—
discarded clothes,
spilled photographs,
repacked treasures
from a baby long ago.

Something or someone
is revisiting,
re-imagining,
or even reliving
a life too precious
or unfinished
to ever let it go.

The child beneath the bed
in the room downstairs
knows all of this,
and yet, it does not help.

The ghost is agitated,
restless, relentless.
It sounds so angry.
How those floorboards creak!


--/--