In case you live under a rock or in Hawaii, this winter of 2010-11 has been a real doozy. Having grown up in Central (aka The Cold Part of) Oregon and lived in Brooklyn for nearly seven years, I can say with confidence that I’m not a weeny when it comes to winter. It’s not my favorite, but I would nearly always take it over a humid 90-degree day.
The unrelenting torture of this winter, with its veritable potpourri of meteorological shittiness (thundersnow, sleet, blizzard, single-digits, freezing rain, 40-mph winds), has had me in a real funk. I have begun to over-identify with the characters in Jonathan Lethem’s Chronic City in more than one respect. A few times, I have thought seriously about going to a tanning salon.
1. Denial — “It’s not that cold; it snowed waaay more than this last year; I think I’ll wear a dress today; and high-heeled shoes while I’m at it; let’s have popsicles!”
2. Anger — “Last winter sucked, I deserve to have this winter suck less; last time I checked, we do not live in motherfucking Buffalo; there has been snow on the ground for six weeks and it’s clearly Mike Bloomberg’s fault.”
3. Bargaining — “If I dig out my giant ugly snow boots, maybe it won’t snow anymore; if I resist the urge to read ‘Dear Prudence,’ maybe it will crack 40 degrees today.”
4. Depression — “I’m not leaving this apartment until the snow has melted; it is acceptable to eat toast for every meal; why is there never enough lip balm; what is a bra again?”
5. Acceptance — “I understand that it will never be warm ever again and that life must go on in spite of this; I must take responsibility for my health and eat some multivitamins on my toast sometimes; anything, even outside, can be faced with a little help from our dear friend whiskey.”
So, I’m starting see my way out.
Yesterday, after I finished a marathon book-editing session, I felt I had earned a half day off. I met up with my friend Mark Jason Williams, who stoically made the journey all the way from Westchester County. He is a talented playwright and you can read all about his hilarious exploits if you look over there –>. We spent an enjoyable afternoon in the East Village, despite the cold, taking guerrilla photographs of the crazies (and a shocking amount of normals) in Tompkins Square Park. We also used the bathroom and discussed pornographic films at Filene’s Basement and drank $3 G&Ts at Pieces.
I admit it, I’m glad I braved the cold. The wonderful company, Britney Spears videos and late-afternoon sunlight that only exists in Manhattan truly made it worth the superhuman effort required to leave home. And hooray for having a job that makes this type of Thursday afternoon possible.