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Octubre

October 30, 2014

Early on in my 8th grade Spanish class I learned the months of the year. And one caught my particular attention: octubre. In English, October is the coolest name of a month, but it is not so beautiful. Octubre is the same word shifted into a register of beauty. Ever since, much as I regularly think of Thursday as Thor’s Day, I think of October as octubre. Such things are necessary for life to be worth living. Regrettably they are not sufficient — I have learned that well enough — but they are necessary, there is a need in living to be charmed. By aardvarks and blue whales, by Fernet Branca and Moxie, by the trunks of sycamores and the shiny guts of old motorcycles, by the works of Alfred Jarry and Ernest Thompson Seton, by Mallomars and Smullyans and vast undetectable swarms of neutrinos, by the curve of woman’s neck glimpsed in a theater just before the lights fade and never seen again. By you or her or him or them or that dog over there. By octubre. Or whatever it is that may catch the mind and free it, to give it the play it needs, to lure it into the air, into the light, into the world, back toward itself and its purposeless excellence. Such charms you will need to pass through in your journey, to keep one step ahead of the Devil and safely to the side of the Abyss. They won’t save you, but without them you won’t be saved, just drop straight down.

And now the month is almost over, dull November (noviembre … meh) is waiting. Good luck finding the will to live in its dark chill embrace.

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