Hump Day Leap Year

by Nic Olson

Thus far it has been a leapable year. A year that I will remember as one that was somewhat wasteful, somewhat unaccomplished, somewhat unfortunate.

However, when I speak of ‘this year’ I speak of the past two months, because like it went in elementary school when I remembered things by grade, I now allot the time based on full years, which pass like bunches of days and are remembered in that way also. Of the past twelve months, the past full year, I have broken my lifetime record of lowest income. It has been on a steady decline since I quit my job as a mindless labourer of ten-hour workdays of fifteen hours a day. One that I left purposefully because working with a group of undesirable cocaine addicts who hated their jobs but grinded their way through it for the paycheques wasn’t worth it.. And now as tax season rolls around again I hope for at least a decent payoff so that I can use my springtime governmental bonus to make this so far forgettable calendar year one that counts.

Of the past four years I would leap none of them. I would hump them all. Hump Day, as far as I’m concerned, was invented by a friend, Lucas Roelfsema. For some time it was customary of him to send Wednesday messages to those he loved, “Happy Hump Day. Who are you humping?” and my response often included his name or the name of someone he knew.

But of the leapable start to this calendar year I created a project to prove to myself down the road that although it was possibly  leapable, it still yielded a very functional, very ugly hand-sewn blanket. Of old pieces of sweater and found threads and needles, I will block out the memories of uselessness and self-pity with an eight-foot by eight-foot misshapen square of wool.

I remember at a family Christmas when I was younger, one my aunties gave my grandparents all the pieces to make a quilt, including the quilt squares, already sewn and embroidered, wrapped in different packages for all the different necessary parts of a quilt. She cried when my grandparents opened the last package. I never understood why; my parents told me it was because she had put so much work into the gift. I thought of this notion once I finished my book, and again when I started my quilt/sleeping bag/ragged-ass mess of chopped up sweaters. For the completion of my book, something that I have been working on since before the last leap year, I didn’t cry. I barely got sentimental. I mostly got angry and began to deny the book’s existence. It likely wasn’t my crowning achievement. This quilt is likely just that. I expect to cry in joy for several days after it is finished.

It would be a shame to have an entire year that could be considered leapable. A year without a single moment worth clinging to. I think years that are impossible to leap often depend on those people which you are metaphorically humping, which means, upon further review, this year has yet to be a calamity enough to leap. That, plus a quilt, a life lesson, a few good stories of shoplifters and you’re off. An admittedly somewhat wasteful, somewhat unaccomplished, somewhat unfortunate two months that I wouldn’t leap for much. Maybe a Klondike bar.