Monday, February 1, 2010

The Great Gray Beast

Ok, I think I've showed amazing restraint. We are thirty hours into February as I write this and I have not once quoted Clive Barker. Yet.

The great gray beast February had eaten Harvey Swick alive. Here he was, buried in the belly of that smothering month, wondering if he would ever find his way out through the cold coils that lay between here and Easter.

He didn't think much of his chances. More than likely he'd become so bored as the hours crawled by that one day he'd simply forget to breathe.

Ok. Now I've done it. Now it's February. This passage opens Clive Barker's 1992 book, The Thief of Always. It is actually a children's book, but it holds a great deal of adult appeal, as so many children's books do. Besides, in 1992 I was still firmly entrenched in my Clive Barker period, and if he wrote it, I was going to read it.

This particular passage resonated with me and, from what I've been reading, I am far from alone. It doesn't feel like February until I've quoted it to someone. Not that 'feeling like February' is such a good thing, I suppose. But February it is.

I held the great gray beast at bay for a couple hours yesterday. I hadn't meant to. There were errands that needed to be done, but there was also laundry and that pesky couch whose ability to remain on the floor couldn't always be trusted to gravity alone. I can assure you, I did NOT want to do those errands. It was warm and cozy here in my cave. But Liv had some books on hold at the library and they weren't going to hold them any longer. I sighed. It had to be done. But I didn't have to be happy about it.

I got dressed, but I didn't feel cute (laundry day - which was being blown off - remember?). I ran my errands - library, groceries, drop things off, pick things up - you know - a typical errand day. I was doing it with all the enthusiasm it merited (which was, you know, none). I drove through McDonald's for my lunch (oh, like you don't eat drive through on errand day) and when I opened my window, it was surprisingly not cold. To say it was warm would be an exaggeration, but it was not cold. Relatively. I left the window down till I picked up speed. It felt good - fresh.

A little sunshine, a little fresh air, and I felt the first stirrings of a smile. Of course the beast isn't done. I know that. It's just resting a bit. But that little taste of what was to come was enough to see me through the day.

Suck it, beast.

Happy February.

19 comments:

blueviolet said...

I love those little peeks of hope! This was great, Mommakin!!!!

Pam said...

I love those unexpected warmish days in winter. I've been able to avoid that whole Great Gray Beast thing. My birthday is in February so it's my favorite month. I wonder if that has something to do with why I don't winter???

Pam said...

Ooops! Edit: Why I don't hate winter.

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Kill the beast. Isn't spring on the way? That is if you believe that furry rat creature and the whole shadow thing....

Hope you have many more days of "fresh" air and smiles. It really does suit you. :-)

5thsister said...

February has me firmly in its grip. But once the antibiotics take hold and the sinus pressure, dizziness and nausea have run its course, rest assured I'll be up and fighting for every ray of sunshine I can get!

Eva Gallant said...

I try to focus on the bright side of February--Valentines Day, my grandson's birthday, my Hubby's birthday, and it's the shortest month!

Tsquared417 said...

Suck it indeed!!!!

Anita said...

Ahhh the Great Gray Beast........the images it conjures up! I'm in FL, but its' gray and rainy today...ick.
Who told you I eat drive thru fast food?

Matt the Bass Player said...

i'm glad i'm not the only one who's couch needs some extra help resisting gravity...

Rosa said...

I feel the exact same way about Feb. AND Clive Barker. Freaky dude, that one.

Tracie said...

There are many things I hate about February and the least of them is the fake-fest known as Valentine's Day. Ugh.

MiMi said...

Well...Feb is better than January, I guess. And yeah, I've never read that book. I didn't sound like a kids book, it would probably be too hard for me to understand! LOL.

Unknown Mami said...

I think my couch is filled with helium when it's cold and my ass firmly planted on it is the only thing that will keep it in place.

Gibby said...

But good news!! Punxsatawney Phil saw his...oh wait, that's not good. Screw you, P. Phil. You suck.

MaryRC said...

its been a nice Feb here too.. ive only ever read Cabal by Clive Barker, my horror days.. and i hear thats not his best book either.
ill be hitting mickey d's today. if i can get my butt off the computer..

Swine said...

Febru-frakkinary who? You'll beat this thing yet.

Sandy said...

Yup, just what I was saying...the days are longer, the birds are chirpier and February is a short month!

Vivienne said...

I have never heard of this book. I though Clive Barker directed horror films... or am I thinking of another Clive...?
Let's trade locations for a while. You enjoy 70 degree days with sunshine and I will go and enjoy your "weather" since we never really get any.

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