The weather is changing. I’m serious. I wore three layers this morning. Three. A t-shirt, a thin sweatshirt all under a jacket. Can you stand it? Yes. I can stand it. I can sit it. I can roll in it. I love it. Any change of weather in this city is exhilarating b/c everyday feels like groundhog’s day. You get up, look outside the window, “Oh, wow, another PERFECT day. Sunny and 75 degrees”. Since it’s so nice, everything must be fine. There’s nothing to complain about or feel shitty about so I’m just going to push down all my concerns, fears and anxiety to the bowels of my being. Later that day I’ll be driving and ram the back of someone’s sporty coup for “no apparent reason”. But I think we all know the reason. Nice weather year round is deadly. I want cold weather. I want a change of season. I want something to complain about. It’s only natural.
It usually hits around Jan 5th. The holidays are over and there’s nothing to distract you from the bitter cold. Misery. Your body’s natural hibernation process kicks in. You crave sleep, carbohydrates and thick beer. As the temperature lowers, so does your self-esteem. Your spare tire inflates, your skin dries and you feel less attractive than ever before. You’re wary to travel amongst humanity because you don’t want to meet anyone NEW in the winter. What a horrifying thought. Mingling in twenty degree weather with big wool sweaters, dry hair and rouge to offset your pasty white skin. Although you try, nothing can get you out of the house on a Friday night. “C’mon Emily Dickinson, let’s get in the game! Let’s do this!” Nope. You’re on the couch with a plate of leftovers and a shitty attempt at a hot tottie. No need to feel guilty because this is what our body needs. Check it:
I read an article from the NY Sunday Times (11/25/07) in the Op Ed section called “The Big Sleep” by Graham Robb. It looked at human hibernation during the winter and how it impacts the economy, blah blah blah. I write blah blah blah because I don’t want to ramble on and lose my demographic: people who have ADD. Apparently, in the 1900’s, peasants of the Pskov region in north-western Russia spent one-half of the year in sleep. “At the first fall of snow the whole family gathers around the stove, lies down, ceases to wrestle with the problems of human existence, and quietly goes to sleep. Once a day every one wakes up to eat a piece of hard bread.” Why the fuck was I not born a peasant in Russia during the 1900’s? I love to sleep. I love my family. Wrestling with the problems of human existence is over-rated and I LOVE bread. How can I possibly re-create this existence today? And I wouldn’t adapt to this way of life because adulthood makes me nervous and I’m unemployed and the chances of me making it in the entertainment business are very low and I can only live in a couple of places in this world because I’m a liberal gay woman who requires access to really good wine and take-out twenty four hours a day. I would do it for the CONTINUATION OF HUMANITY. By sleeping and eating only a piece of hard bread, my family and I would reduce fossil fuel emissions and take six months off from being greedy capitalist pigs. I’m kidding, of course, capitalism is the way to go!! See current economy. People have houses! People can read! *
I haven’t actually asked the rest of my family if they would partake in this new way of life. I can foresee some problems with the “sleeping around the stove” routine. My mom and I suffer from insomnia due to anxiety. She worries about everything that could happen and I worry about everything that will happen. You know basic stuff like the re-occurrence of plagues, the inconsistency of Eli Manning, what if I’m the last dragon rider, etc. But if we’re supposed to sleep for six months to help save the world, I think my anxiety would decrease. Or would it increase because I want to sleep and I can’t because I’m supposed to? I exhaust myself. My Dad is on board. I don’t even have to ask him. He’s totally laid back, up for anything and hates working so green light there. My older sister, Tara, teaches public school in Manhattan has two masters’ degrees and is working on her doctorate. She would embrace this new way of life because it would provide her more time to sleep and read. She’d also enjoy sitting around the stove teaching Megan (my twin sister) and me other languages and discussing EVERYTHING ever written using a critical literary lens because that’s how she tortures us. Megan would need some serious persuading because she has trouble relaxing, doesn’t need much sleep and has a voracious appetite. I’m telling you right now, one piece of hard bread would not cut it. I’d have to smuggle in loaves of cheese. That French cheese that doesn’t need to be refrigerated and creates feelings of nationalism and makes you want to work less. Yum.
For me, the phrase “ceases to wrestle with the problems of human existence” resonates in particular. Everyday I read the paper, watch the news, listen to NPR and debate all the issues with my friends. I’m informed, I vote, I’m passionate about politics and religion and civil rights and blah blah blah.
And everyday I become so worked up, so angry with our current regime, so disillusioned about the state of education, so frustrated that Derek Jeter and I aren’t friends yet, so bewildered at our foreign policy, so disheartened by our country’s stance on gay rights, so sad that Joanie doesn’t love Chachi and that Chachi has become a douchebag. And why? Why do I do this to myself? Except for a certain number of people in a certain number of states,
nobody gives a shit about any of it. They work at some random job, bring their kids to football practice, they believe in god, they vote occasionally, they wear Christmas sweaters year round and they’re FAT and HAPPY. And isn’t that the goal in life? So I’m going to do it. I’m going to sleep alongside my family for six months of the year, eating a piece of hard bread each day, working towards the goal of saving the world while becoming fat and happy.
*statistics taken from polls during 1953-1955.