posted on: Thursday February 18, 2010
by Katie Caliva ’10 / Associate Editor-in-Chief
February is a lonely sort of month, a fact that has nothing whatsoever to do with the pink and frilly holiday that we just observed. February’s loneliness is divorced from romance and dependent on the weather. Perhaps if I were to spend this month in a more tropical climate, I would feel differently about it. As it stands, however, I am a northeastern dweller and I say that February is lonely.The air is cold and dry, without the real bouts of snow that mitigate the bitterness of the wind. Trees have lost their leaves and their charm; they give the appearance of a coma, a stupor from which they will never emerge. Nights come too early in February. The twilight descends before it is bidden and sets in long before it is wanted. February is suffocating like that.It was 7:00 p.m. when I left my apartment to go for a walk. I craved fresh air and endorphins, neither of which was abundant within the cinderblock walls. I was not expecting the intensity of the night: cold and clear, stars standing out prominently in the cloudless sky. 7:00 is an odd time to wander campus on a Friday night. The boys of St. Joe’s were already beginning their revelry, while the slightly more mature residents of Davis were still eating dinner. I tarried on Guzman hill, listening to the howling male freshmen and peering into the windows of Davis apartments. In a rare moment of appreciation for February, I was glad to be alone.My walk took me around lower campus, skirting the populated buildings and sticking to the shadows whenever possible. My hands felt chapped, exposed to the unforgiving February wind. They begged for gloves. I thrust them deeper into the pocket of my jacket, shielding them as I wandered. I came to the fish pond by Hunt-Cavanagh, where a statue of some Dominican saint stands as protector over koi. It’s a favorite haunt of mine. In warmer weather, I often sit on the brick stairs sketching poorly or scribbling wildly on whatever paper I happen to have on hand. Usually I end up just sitting, staring blankly at the flowering bushes, and regaining some modicum of sanity.Sanity, or at the very least something resembling sanity, is what I was seeking that night. I could not, however, repose by the pond. Lights and voices from the art building startled me and the February wind completed the rout. I kept moving, seeking some alcove where I could just be. I found none. The month that I long associated with loneliness offered me no place where I could be alone.