A Bitter November
Me (going into the kitchen and finding someone going through the fridge): Who’s there?
Strange Yet Oddly Familiar Person: It’s me, you idiot.
Me (peering to get a better look): … November? Is that you? What are you doing here?
November: Eating some of your leftovers. (Holds up Tupperware) Mind if I finish off your cranberry sauce?
Me: No, that’s fine. What I meant to say is that I thought you had already left.
November: What’s the date?
Me: Uh… November 29.
November: Right. I still have today and tomorrow, you know.
Me: I suppose you do.
November: Damn right I do. I have thirty days. Every year. It’s not like I’m February. (Sits, sullenly, to eat his leftovers.)
Me: I know. It’s just that after Thanksgiving, it feels like November should be over, you know?
November (bitterly): You think I don’t know that? You think I don’t know that as soon as people wrap foil over the turkey pickings and shove them in the ice box, they start looking at me like I missed some sort of important social clue? They start looking at the closet my jacket is in and then down at their wrists as if to say, whoa, look at the time.
Me: I’m sure they don’t mean anything by it.
November: And nobody actually wears wristwatches anymore! They all get their time from their cell phones. That’s what makes it extra demeaning.
Me: I don’t think everyone wants you out the door on Thursday evening. There’s Black Friday, after all.
November (rolls eyes): Oh, right. The “traditional start of holiday retail.” Holiday retail, dude. “Holiday” is just code, you know. For December.
November: Friggin’ December, man. He was always pushy, you know. Always so entitled. Mr. “Oh, I have two major religious holidays every year.” Yeah, well, you know what? This year, I had Diwali. Okay? That’s a festival of lights, too. A billion people celebrate it. And that’s just the Hindus! I’m not even counting the Jains or the Sihks!
Me: I think that those cranberrys might have fermented on you.
November: Don’t patronize me, buddy. All I’m saying is December is not all that. I’ve got election day. I’ve got Veteran’s Day. I’ve got Thanksgiving. I’m the All-American month.
Me (as my cell phone buzzes): Hold on, I’m getting a text.
November: Who is it?
Me: It’s July. The text says, “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if November was whining about something and was suddenly silenced BY AMERICA’S BIRTHDAY.”
November (holds up hands): You see? You see what I have to put up with?
(DOOR OPENS. DECEMBER bustles through, carrying packages)
December: Oh, man! You wouldn’t believe what kind of madness is out there in the stores these days. People are really getting into the holiday — Oh. November. Sorry, I didn’t see you there.
November: Of course you didn’t. God forbid you should acknowledge my existence, December.
December (to me): Did I come at a bad time?
Me: We’re having a bit of a moment, yes.
December: I can come back.
November: Yeah, in three days, you usurping bastard!
December: I’ll just go now.
November: That’s right! Go! And take your crappy Christmas carols with you! (Breaks down weeping)
Me: Aw, come on, November. Don’t be like that.
November: I just want people to appreciate me, okay? For my entire stay. Is that too much to ask?
Me: No, I suppose it isn’t. I’m sorry, November. It was wrong of me.
November (sniffling): It’s all right. I know you weren’t trying to offend me. Anyway. I’ll just be going now. (Gets up)
Me: No, November. Sit down. Please. You can stay if you want.
November: Yeah? Really?
Me: Of course you can. You can even help me with some stuff around the house, if you want.
November (narrows eyes): You’re about to put up Christmas decorations, aren’t you.
Me (guiltily): Of course not.