When I was growing up I had a hard time with what I called the “in-between times.” After school and before camp, after graduation and before college, after college and before my first real job – these times felt unmoored, precarious. Maybe that’s why I’m so preoccupied now with marking time, pinning it down like a butterfly collector.
If I’d lived in pre-Caesar’s Rome, the days after February 23rd would have been particularly hard for me, since hardly anybody knew what date it was. At that time the Roman year was only 355 days, and so every couple of years an extra 27 days, called the Intercalaris, were supposed to be inserted between the end of February and March 1st, when the new year began. Apparently, especially during wars, the pontifex maximus kept forgetting to do this, and so the years between 63 BC and 46 BC became known as the “years of confusion.”
I know it’s time for me to be getting over this, but does anything sound familiar about relying on religious people to be competent administrators, especially when you’re trying to fight a bunch of wars? At least it was only for eight years, not seventeen.