I’m 11 and reading an Archie comic. The hash-marked carrot-top is excited beyond his normally randy self because it is springtime, and during springtime a young man’s thoughts turn to love. Voracious for any advance details about my incipient manhood, I squirrel this tidbit away. If season = springtime, then thoughts = love. Sadly the converse is not true, or every time I met a pretty lady then snow would melt and flowers bloom.

Strange how saying that “love melts snow” would be a fitting, if cliche, description of love. Warm, florid, and bright. But in the uneasy moments of loose thought that preface a good night’s sleep, I thought, I saw something different. Walking a trail of brown-red leaves with someone: no-one in particular, just a fleeting series of low-res snapshots (heavily vignetted, lomo-style, naturally): little crinkles around her laughing eyes, a curl of hair meeting the stray fibres of a coarse, warm sweater, a vague feeling of shared warmth, hands warm, noses cold, against the whetted autumn breeze.

Perhaps this is yet another manifestation of my wide contrarian streak, or maybe there’s still more of that guy (who bought those photos from deviant art) left in me than I’d like to admit – but there is something profoundly romantic about this time of year. Of course, this is like a fish writing about the Tour de France, but some ancient (and/or silly) part of my brain just wants to find someone to huddle under the furs with to ward away the oncoming cold. I realize this is me describing love as opposition to the season, still using the same hoary old terms. I also realize this is me refuting a point of view from an Archie comic, originally penned forty some years ago. Two people forging a warm, safe existence for themselves while the natural world turns cold and dead is more in keeping with my feelings on the subject than trying to compete with the rebirth of spring, skipping hand-in-hand through fields of tulips.

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