Two-Faced God

La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas.

― Charles Baudelaire

The month is named for the Roman two-faced god Janus who looks back while looking forward. At the turning of a New Year’s Day, some recount the disappointments and triumphs of the year now past before turning to declare resolutions for the new year to come. Janus is a two-faced god overlooking the port before embarking, where past is present as prolog and the future ahead is still merely a damask curtain rising before an unknown scene.

It rained yesterday; I call it rain in all sincerity and respect, some two inches of water to wash away the pockmarked snow and the grit from the sanded streets. January is the realm of Capricorn, another creature of duality with the tail of a fish and the body of a goat. Capricorn climbs out from the depths of the stormy sea up the stony mountain. The remnants of the holiday cakes are crumbled on the hill for the crows to feast.

When my black leather jacket was stolen in Portland, I was bereft and enraged. I saved money for a new one, a better one. I tried on different styles for size and finally ordered a moto-style jacket with tough brass zippers from the kink shop on SE Belmont. When the jacket arrived, the owner called me to come pick it up. He asked me out to dinner, but I was entangled. “You can’t get enough of what you don’t want,” he told me. I think about what he said when asked what resolutions I’ve made for the New Year.

I still have the jacket.

Author: Kim K. McCrea

Kim K. McCrea earned her BA in English before embarking on a career in technology and public service. Kim won Oregon Writers Colony 2018 essay award, Treefort’s 2017 Wild West Writing Prize, and was named runner-up in Cutbank 2018 Big Sky/Small Prose contest. Her creative nonfiction is featured in Cutbank, Tishman Review, Cagibi, and elsewhere; she is the author of the novel Pandora's Last Gift. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Kim lives in Oregon, where she studies the moon and stars and wanders with her Labrador in the rain.

5 thoughts on “Two-Faced God”

  1. I was just on Belmont a month ago or so, did some Christmas shopping there. I always get such an infusion of energy being in Portland in those neighborhoods. And I recall a similar post you did on Janus maybe last year or the year before; it’s a really cool time of year for that…your transitions in these 3 paragraphs work really well for that too, the “past perfect,” the distant past…nicely done. And gosh how sentimental we can be about clothes huh? All the jackets and coats I’ve saved, weird shit in the pockets akin to journal entries.

    Liked by 1 person

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