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Almost Spring

I like change. The only thing I like more than change is anticipation. So this time of year I’m a big fan of the weather. It’s almost spring, which means that the careful observer will start to see signs: sunnier days, bare ground peeking through snow, warm enough for no jacket until 5pm, cold nights, etc.

It is at this time of year that my apartment always seems to have developed a peculiar odor. I used to blame it on my roommates, or our pet mice, or the dirty dishes, or the rotted food in the refrigerator. It is clear from what that previous sentence revealed about my lifestyle that I have not been as mature throughout college as I claimed to be at any given point up to now. Which raises the question if I really am now and will not, in two or three years, write something else that references how confident I used to be when in fact I was (and therefore am) blind as an egotistical bat. That’s OK though; the only thing I like more than anticipation is retrospection. It seems I am incapable of appreciating any exact moment, too busy thinking about the one that just past and the one about to come.

Anyway, this year I could not evade my own mess with my old excuses. It is just me in my apartment and just me to blame for the odor. It always seems to be in the kitchen, and this year was no different. I tried taking the trash out; I tried cleaning the countertops, sink, dishes etc. Still there. Even worse, I thought it was gone and then would bring people over unaware of the sudden gagging they were about to experience.

One Tuesday morning I found myself with some idle time and decided to clean the kitchen once and for all. It was a day that hinted at spring so I thought I would open up all the windows and get some fresh air in. Now, it was probably too cold to warrant this as a good idea, but I’ve never been concerned with the quality of my ideas, only the extent to which I wish to act on them. There have been many great ideas I’ve been too lazy to accomplish and many other poor ones I’ve seen through to their ends. Now, after a good cleaning and about six hours of open windows my house was freezing, but smelled fresh and clean. A couple days later, windows closed, house warmed, I was lying on the couch reading Details and it was so sunny I wanted to open the window again. The sunny window and fresh almost-spring air (able to be fully enjoyed without competition from the kitchen) made me want to listen to something with bird sounds in it, something anticipating a change, like Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve. I didn’t listen to this because Zero 7 was already playing and I was too lazy to get up, even though it would have been a good idea to listen to The Verve (see above).

Everyone else complains about this time of year, but everyone else seems to hate change. This is funny since a lot of people complain about their current state, yet hate change enough not to do anything about it. Conversely (or is it) the same people fail to retrospect their lives to avoid making the same mistakes once they finally do change. I’m the guy who is happy with what he has but changes anyway, just for the sake of changing. Which would explain why I’ve had the chance to make one dorm room, one house and two apartments stink across four winters here in Rochester as well as why I’ve had the opportunity to blame different people every year. But at least I can look back and learn from it enough to make a change in the future. Good thing I’m so mature.

--
Justin Dickinson

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