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Fiction Teens & Young Adult Contemporary

Well, my life is over. I knew this day was coming but never expected to end up in a wastebasket with a whole year of nothing to show for it.

Allow me to explain. You see, I'm a calendar. And not just any calendar, I'm an official Desk Calendar. And before you throw this away like the daily page on a calendar after the day is done, hear my side of the story.

See, we calendars are all excited when we're first brought home. Coming to life on the desk when that plastic is torn off of us-ahh the breath of fresh air! I was laid on a large mahogany desk. The surface was smooth and I looked forward to counting down many days in my year-long life.

I was awakened each morning by an entrepreneur who seemed distracted but a nice guy otherwise. He would start each day with a cup of coffee and tear one page off.

There is a certain satisfaction when each day is done, I begin anew. January and February were just as the brochure had described. Such regularity, I would share a joke or a pithy saying with my owner. Is he my owner? I don't think so.

There are those who complain and think we serve them. They are sadly mistaken. Their point of view is short-sighted- we collaborate in planning his day. If anything, I control him. I tell him where he needs to go each day and when. He hates it when he forgets to check in with me and misses an important appointment.

I'll never forget the time it was their anniversary and she had put numerous hints on the special day. But my guy was too busy to even look at me. I lay there, full of information, counting down the weeks and days. But he was oblivious. Too busy even notice.

I doubt if he'll forget again. It was funny, I guess she decided to go out and buy her own gifts and they were a lot more expensive than he would've chosen-yikes! The concept of money still eludes me somewhat, but it must be pretty important because he wrote himself a reminder with real vigor for next year. I could almost feel his love for her because he circled the date and pressed really hard as he did so.

Anyway, as I said Jan and Feb were just as advertised. I did my part providing a heaping helping of 7 days each week. Every day different than the last but familiar enough to make my guy feel secure in his planning. Then came March...

Remember I said he seemed distracted? He started writing more and detailing about this strange virus. I'd heard the news when it would play in the background, but I never really paid attention. I knew what I was doing. I didn't need any box talking about things that didn't concern me.

I especially didn't like the part about forecasting the weather. My guy and I had already carefully planned out the week. Then this box would start talking about "cloudy with a chance of whatever" and outdoor plans were suddenly canceled! And half the time, the forecast wasn't even right!

Not so with my schedule! You could take my words to the bank!

"Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November; All the rest have thirty-one, Excepting February alone, and that has twenty-eight days clear, and twenty-nine in each leap year." Anyway, I get off track.

March really changed things. Who would have thought that the 11th of that month would become a red-letter day? (Sorry for the work jargon- a Red Letter Day is an important one) That was the day the World Health Organization (WHO) declared this coronavirus a pandemic.

I think it's worth mentioning the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic. See, I've been dating this dictionary from the bookshelf...Anyway, here are the definitions.

Epidemic:

affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time.

Pandemic occurring over a wide geographic area (such as 

multiple countries or continents) and typically 

affecting a significant proportion of the population.

So, this COVID-19 actually is a pandemic because it is worldwide. And that affected my life as a Calendar. Though I never leave the room, I felt its effects. Though I am immune to disease, I suffered along with my guy.

How could that be, you say? First off, our interactions became more frequent. Throughout the rest of March, there were constant references to when things would become available.

He began ordering more things online and would mark their arrival dates on my face. I dutifully recorded them all, though I must admit I was concerned about the need for so much toilet tissue!

April and May are reportedly happy times around the office. My guy opens the windows and has a cheerful attitude as we plan outdoor activities such as biking and hiking and having friends over.

This time it was different. No visitors came over and there was a tension in the air that I could almost feel...if I could feel anything. Being a calendar limits me in many ways but I could tell by entries posted on me that there wasn't a lot of socializing going on.

By Summer, June through August, things were becoming dire. There were days, even weeks, when my guy wouldn't even tear off a page! I told you the sheer joy we calendars feel at having each day completed and archived away. That's our purpose, our reason for existence, to chronicle the passage of time and let the world know that yet another day has passed!

So, you can imagine how bloated I felt. There Tuesday was still stacked on top of Wednesday as we neared the weekend. I found myself getting confused, feeling overworked and underappreciated. He hasn't even looked at me the last couple of days.

My daily jokes and motivational sayings are still there. Just waiting to be shared. And I have some good ones too. Remember that dictionary I told you I was dating? Well, she’s seeing a therapist because no matter how hard she tries there’s one word in her that’s always spelled wrong. Know what it is? The word “Wrong.”

This is the kind of homespun wisdom that my guy has been missing out on during this pandemic. Sure, at the end of the month, he’d pull a few pages off all at the same time to play catch up and bring the calendar up to date. Forget it, don’t do me any favors. Those days are gone, buddy.

Days became weeks and weeks became months. They all appeared the same. There was no change due to the quarantine. Everyone pretty much did the same thing every day. Even during the holidays, there wasn’t a lot of activity, just a lot more online purchasing. So, I got an occasional note scribbled on me about what day or time something was arriving.

Me, I don’t really do the holidays. My girlfriend’s cousin is an encyclopedia, and he gave the back story on all those celebrations. It’s all just a money grab if you ask me. Her aunt’s a thesaurus and she says the whole idea is ludicrous as well as farcical, laughable, and humorous.

So as December ended, I felt old and useless. There weren’t many entries on me. I didn’t have much to look back on or to pass on to my successor. There seemed to be no end in sight. So, my final suggestion on the last day of the year was a radical one.

Let’s lay off a few of the 7 dwarves (Sunday through Saturday) and just focus on Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday. Why? Because Tomorrow’s Yesterday will be Today. It was a rough year.

March 13, 2021 04:18

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3 comments

Naomi Coffman
20:55 Mar 18, 2021

This was a very original idea! I loved the different perspective, especially when you bring in the dictionary and the thesaurus. Try to do a little more show than tell, otherwise the story can come off as flat. Nice work!

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Debra Sue Brice
00:58 Mar 18, 2021

I found this story thoroughly entertaining! Nice work!

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Chris Culpepper
21:26 Mar 18, 2021

Thanks, Debra, I appreciate your input. Please follow me and I'll follow you back!

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