Musin's and Thinkin's - March/April 2010 - Believer Magazine
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Musin’s and Thinkin’s – March/April 2010

by Jack Pendarvis
Illustration by Jason Polan

Musin’s and Thinkin’s – March/April 2010

Jack Pendarvis
12 Snaps

I have been accused of a lot of things, but disliking the seasons has never been one of them.

The seasons! Even the phrase brings feelings of warmth and bounty to the human heart. The seasons! The syllables chime out like a great and mighty bell whose clapper is the universe itself. The seasons! Like most things, it sounds better if you repeat it three times. What can we say about the seasons that hasn’t already been said?

But seriously, the seasons. Let’s bring the tempo down a little bit. Let’s lower the lights. Let’s get serious for a second. Come over here, yes, right next to me. I won’t bite. I really want to talk to you about the seasons. Can you hear me? I’m whispering because I’m so serious. That’s how serious I am about the seasons. Let me put my arm around you and gaze right into your eyes while I tell you about the seasons. One great thing about the seasons is how many ways you can talk about them. Like, already just now I’ve talked about the seasons in two different ways: lighthearted and somewhat more meditative and, some might say, sexy. But let’s not lose sight of the seasons themselves. That would be the real tragedy. Far too often, people forget about the seasons. They do so much for us. In a way, what would life be without the seasons?

But gadflies walk among us—yes, gadflies, collegians, and raconteurs who claim we’d be so much better off without the false promise of that wayward tart called the seasons. They said it, not me! But I think I understand where they’re coming from. Life is complicated. The Industrial Age happened. Suddenly the seasons aren’t smart enough. Sophistication has taken over, and everybody is so happy about it.

As a result of our complex modern attitudes, some lost souls would rather be miserable than have a good time enjoying the seasons. They are our physicians, our ice-cream vendors, our public intellectuals, our clergymen and teachers. I have a name for such people. Those people are named “jerks.” What do they have against the seasons? Of course life would be horrible without the seasons!

Just imagine: You’d be in a bar, I guess, and some guy would come up to you and want to talk about the seasons, only there wouldn’t be anything to talk about. So the guy goes away, your one chance at friendship. What a sullen picture! Imagine yourself, reflected in the dirty mirror behind the bar. What else are you going to look at? The seasons? Too bad, there aren’t any seasons! All you have to look at is your own ugly mug, drinking your cheap gin, alone and silent.

Thank goodness, then, for the seasons. I love how they do that thing they do. And I don’t think anyone would dare argue with me when I suggest that the seasons do it better than anybody else.

Yes, the seasons certainly are interesting, what with all the various things in them that make them what they are, and all the factors and variables. You know, the components. They have components, right? And variables? Because there is more than one season, right? It’s plural, seasons. That’s the way I’ve always heard it. So there would be variables, right? And you can tell them apart? Help me out here. I have no idea what I’m talking about. Oh God. I’m a liar and a fraud. I knew you would find out one day. I don’t know anything about the seasons. I just wanted you to like me and think I’m smart. What are seasons? Are they something about birds? I want to say they have something to do with birds. Hold on.

According to the Internet, the seasons are four different times of year, each surpassing the other in splendor, which doesn’t seem mathematically possible. Anyway, this explains a lot. The seasons take place outdoors. I don’t get out much. People scare me. And there’s traffic. Anything can happen if you go outside. I plan for my corpse to be discovered four months after my demise, under an avalanche of old Harper’s Bazaars I’ve been saving.

But that’s not the seasons’ fault! Don’t blame the seasons! The seasons are just doing their job.

 

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