Oct-sober

by Nic Olson

October is always a month to be reckoned with, but this year there is statistical reasons behind this reckoning. The Tenth Day of the Tenth Month of the Tenth Year will occur in three days, which happens only every 100 years. The next day is Thanksgiving.

Thanks to the research of some bored statistician this piece of information was given to me by someone: This October has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays all in one month. It happens only once in 823 years. A month of weekends. A month of parties. Then it is Halloween.

I go to school with twenty-nine others, many of them immigrants. We went to a Job Fair today, and while dozens of them earnestly searched new jobs where they might not have to use their limited French abilities so that they could properly support their families. I wandered around, read up on a few things of interest and ducked out early. At one point in my life this might have been interesting to me, and at a point later on in my life this may interest me again. But right now, lacking education and lacking ambition, it was just a bunch of French speaking people in nice clothes in front of nice displays of nice jobs that I would very nicely deny if they were offered. A huge job interview in a language you don’t know. There can’t be much worse.

After I left I found myself sitting facing a fountain. A 50-something-year old man walked by, sifted through his pocket for a while and pulled his hand out, put it out flat and poked around to find the right coin. He threw one in the fountain, thought about it for a while, and threw in another one. I don’t know what he was wishing for, and never will. Maybe he was wishing for a job, he looked like he hadn’t worked in a while, I could have directed him to the Job Fair. Maybe he was wishing for world peace, be he seemed wiser than that. Maybe he was wishing for a future for his family. I hope to be this man someday. Old, yet hopeful, walking and wishing. I will be wishing until they stop coming true. And then I will wish twice as much.

October hasn’t given me any decent time for thought or any new ideas, but there must be months in the year where ideas stop and time for thought happens subtly and the month is just as decent as any other, if not more. So far it looks like October will be that. One month in eight hundred and twenty three.

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