It’s that time if the year when I am completely done with that time of year. I wrote this post on the absolute coldest February 28th in history. As I ate deep fried groundhog.
But PLOT TWIST [cue the record-scratch sound effect–even though no one listens to music on vinyl anymore], instead of bitching about it, I thought I’d be chock full of shit and focus on the positives.
So here are some of the things I’ll miss when spring (and my will to live) return:
1. These Gloves. I don’t want to touch what you just touched. I just don’t. I shouldn’t have to. This is America. But I don’t want to appear crazy. And that’s true limit of American liberty, isn’t it: the freedom to be as bat-shit crazy as you want while trying to appear sane. Which is why I wait until the first time the air in Chicago slaps the happy out of me to slide these puppies on, whispering things to them. Hygienic things. I don’t care if it’s a little early in the season and they make my hands sweat. At least it’s my sweat. I’m wearing these smartphone incompatible hand quilts so I don’t have to touch your sweat, your mucus, your DNA, your dead skin cells, your saliva–your YOU.
I’ve been wearing them for about 4 years. So these gloves have so much of your DNA on them that if God ever answers my texts and decides to wipe out humanity, then I’ll have enough genetic material to clone a new civilization and start this shitstorm all over again.
2. My balaclava. This is my safe place. I make faces at you under this. You really don’t want to know what goes on. Stuff is happening with facial muscles as I pass you on the street. Twitches. A dance of cheeks. Some tongue action. My lips are speaking things you will never hear. You should never hear. My face is the wizard behind the curtain and you don’t want to see the wizard. Do not look directly at the wizard.
3. Being late. I already knew that Superman was more powerful than a locomotive. But you know what else is more powerful than a locomotive? Snowflakes. When a snowflake touches a Metra train, that train catches a severe case of FUCK-MY-PASSENGERS! and then it simply CAN’T EVEN. I’m forced to wait while it works through its “late arrival of equipment” or “freight train interference” or “mechanical failures.” Every one of those phrases are code for “Now is not the time, Jeff. Really. Not the time.” The more important it is that I get to work, the longer the delay. “You know, it isn’t always about you, Jeff! It’s not always about what you need!”
In those moments, I’m weak. I’m not as understanding as I should be. Sometimes I yell back. “YOU’RE JUST A FUCKING TRAIN AND YOU DON’T HAVE ANY EMOTIONS AND YOU CAN’T EVEN FUCKING TALK! WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO ME?” And that makes everyone in the quiet car uncomfortable.
But for all the stress it causes, being late gives me more me time to write happy posts like this one.
4. Not getting straight-up murdered. I work in Chicago and we’re known for pizza, loser sport teams, and murder. Two of those things may be correlated. But a magical thing happens when the weather turns bitterly cold–people get a lot less murdery. The police brass will tell you that the homicide rate drops because of better policing, but we all know that “fuck, it’s cold outside” is a universal mood killer even for those who are in the mood to kill.
Killer 1: “Let’s go kill some assholes.”
Killer 2: “OK!”
K1 [opening door]: “Fuck, it’s cold outside.”
K2: “Fuck, you’re right!”
K1: “Shit, let’s just go kill people later.”
K2: “OK. Hey, the cold might even kill them assholes anyway.”
K!: “Haha! Hells yeah it will!”
K2: “GODDAMNIT! Cutler threw another goddamn interception! You see that shit?!”
K1: “SONOFABITCH! Let’s go kill some assholes!”
5. Staying indoors. When the weather’s nice and I’ve spent all day inside, I feel like an asshole. But when the wind can turn my blood into Plasma Slurpee, I can just shrug and say: “Oh well. Can’t go out and accomplish shit today! Weather’s bad. Man, can you just imagine all the shit I would have done if that damn weather was better? Oh the shit I would have done! But I didn’t have that option. I had to stay inside and hang out because bad weather and shit. Oh well, back to my peace and serenity.” Then I wave at Monotone Joe shoveling.
Because outside is where the people are. And sometimes people like to talk to me. With the expectation that I will talk back. I have to wear clothes around people. I have to observe their customs. I have to look at them. I have to do stuff. I hate that.
I’m really going to miss staying indoors the most. Unfortunately, while staying indoors negates the need for the gloves or the balaclava, it also makes me want to get murdered.
I’m sure I can go on and on listing even more amazing things about this grim, life-sucking time of year when the snow is all sludge and life-sucking and everything is just a miserable hell hole of sucky shit misery. But I don’t have the right prescriptions.
I’ll try to remember all of these things in a few months as I sparkle in the sunlight.