A year after graduating high school I was working my shitty retail job and living in a shitty apartment with my nine shitty roommates and trying to avoid ruminating on how shitty a road my life seemed be traveling.
I was on closing shift at the Books N’ Yer Face and after finding my drawer forty three dollars short (which is not good.) Landing the task of vacuuming the entire store (UGH.) and playing “find where the patrons guiltily hid the human sexuality books and reshelve them.” (entertaining but time consuming) I ended up getting out of Dodge at 1 AM on a frosty, sleeting February morning.
My truck was a fantastic piece of shit. It had been in the family almost as long as I had and neither my father nor I could bear to part with it. He gave it to me to drive when I moved out with the warning to remember that it was a “non-braking vehicle”.
So of course it was also a “non-defrosting vehicle”. The only way to remove the accumulated layer of ice from the windshield was to brutally hack at it with a glove that had a straight razor attached to it. I couldn’t scrape the ice off so much as get angry and ineffectually try to punch the ice away.
At some point during this sad display my feet went out from under me on the icy ground. My head cracked on the asphalt and I laid there dazed, looking through a dazed tunnel of darkness into the star-flecked sky and thought,
“I’m out. That’s it. I’m done with this bullshit. If I spend another winter here I’m going to cut my throat.”
I went to my parents house, logged on to the computer and applied to the first university that had low standards and proceeded to raze every bridge between me and my friends at the time to the ground. Eight years went by and some stuff happened. But that was just the usual tedious life lessons every one of us suffers through that are important to no one save our own spirits of narcissism.
I’d like to think I’ve grown past surly adolescent malcontention but February still sneaks up behind me when I’m getting a breakfast bagel or brushing my teeth to headbutt me in the nose.
Seasonal depression creeps up quietly enough. December starts and I feel a mild irritation with everything, January comes on and I start sleeping an extra hour a day and forgetting to brush my teeth.
Then the face smash of February. By the 10th of the month I black out for 13 hours at a time, stop showering and feel non stop persecution from all quarters personal and professional. What used to be coping mechanisms turn into drinking mechanisms and sometimes I find myself sitting in the bathtub just…staring at the empty toilet paper roll.
I’ll drift through the house looking like Ophelia, unwashed hair in my face wearing my only my underwear, work shoes and shirt wondering if I put my wallet in the fridge again. If I’m not at my mandated eight hours of work then I’m in bed with all of my pillows and blankets stacked up in a wad on top of my ass because that is the body’s core right? Whatever. I don’t care.
Sometimes I wake up in front of my laptop and there is poetry on it. Poetry I tell you. Like this gem:
Sometimes there is a hollow wind
It is in the kitchen I think
The draft is bad and empty feeling
Like my haert (sic) and I weep
raven tears into my scotch
my burning scotch that scalds every…
The rest of it just turned into the lyrics to Something Corporate’s “My Konstanine” and then a mash of words from where my forehead hit the keyboard during a sudden onset of despair napping so I won’t bother going on but you get what I’m saying here? February is a bastard and everything good turns ugly and slushy during it’s whirl around the Calender.
There’s a reason no one gave you as many days as the other months February, and that’s because you are a cunt.
To those of you who at this very moment who are sitting on the sofa wrapped in a sorrow snuggie I raise my own glass of vermouth watered down with my tears (I was too sad to go to the liquor store.) I salute you!
At least we aren’t in Ohio, right?
Disclaimer: Apologies to any of you who may, at this moment, be in Ohio. Nothing can be done for you now.