concatenation: february 23
Written by Skye Schoenhoeft on February 28, 2023
I didn’t check the weather forecast before heading into this month. With my classes settled and life on track, I waited for another day of sun with my eyes on the prize.
Instead, I was greeted by an incredibly windy February. Days reached speeds of twenty-to-thirty miles an hour, leaving me to force headfirst through the current. Kicking through the new obstacles, I navigated jittering grass, wobbling students, and other UFOs. Wind is strange, because invisible on its own, you only see it when it’s affecting other things.
The turbulence around me as I trudged to class in early February was incredibly distracting, each aberrant movement harassing my concentration. I couldn’t help but watch the force that pushed and pulled the trees high above my eyeline. Craning to see, I looked up from the direction I had been walking. I found myself swaying with them, leaning, falling.
The atmospheric hum silenced as I dropped into the room at full speed. A positive rapid test frantically sealed me from a life beyond. Outside my window, the world blew by. I watched as it pulled rubble off the trees and carried conversations beyond my reach. I couldn’t clear the path while sitting inside, so I started getting used to the leaves piled around the base of my bed.
What January seeded expecting to bloom was washed away. When I came back to LA, the wind had continued to stir up the landscape, steadily tangling things with its invisible strain. Even though I hadn’t been traveling in the stream, everything else still was. I had no choice but to chase it down.
My music this month was desultory, cluttered amongst the unorganized files on my desktop and hanging messages in my inbox. I didn’t mean to leave things this way, but every time I would try and clean up, the wind would tease me by crumbling my stack. When life becomes piled like this, I lose track of things at the bottom, reaching only for what lies at the top. The act of chasing itself blurs the scenery, because focus narrows on the object in pursuit. February became a casualty in the fight between time and demand.
But just like that, the wind stopped. The sun came out. I’ve never paid attention to the fact that February is the windiest month in California, I’ve only thought of it as a month that exists in a space between. The end of winter. The end of the cold. But maybe trying to outsprint the wind is the reason why February is always so fleeting.
Tempestuous: characterized by strong and turbulent or conflicting emotion. Very stormy.