Nothing brings out the complaining in me more than the change of seasons. By the end of one season, I’m always so ready for the next, and when it finally comes, it’s such a relief, there’s such a joy in waking up and every day feeling great to be in this new climate, a brand new environment. But it’s only a matter of time before the feeling of novelty fades to the ordinary and all of the sudden I notice my mind preoccupied with complaints. And the complaints themselves are novel, because they’re all about this new weather. And I’m like, really? I’m already uncomfortable? I’m already complaining? Am I capable of being happy about anything?
I was so ready for the summer to be over. By the end of August I’m just constantly sweating to the point where it almost doesn’t even seem worth it to take a shower in the morning. I’ll retreat to my house as soon as I’m done with whatever it is I have to do that day, and I’ll spend the rest of my time sitting in front of the AC, wishing that it was doing what it was supposed to be doing, making me feel comfortable, all while trying not to think about this giant appliance sucking up energy, racking up kilowatt hours, making such a loud noise, loud enough to the point where I have to crank up the volume on my computer, on my TV. And I can’t really cook because it’s so hot. And I’m just so sick of complaining and being uncomfortable.
And then it’s fall. And it’s great. I’m very comfortable now. I’m wearing a sweatshirt. I’m wearing long pants. And even though this fall wasn’t really much of a fall, it was definitely some relief from the pure oppression that characterized the heat of summer 2012. And I’m having a great time. I’m riding my bike without sweating so much. I’m wearing my leather jacket, which I can only really use for a couple of weeks during the fall. All is well.
But then I’m at work one day and my lips are killing me. What the hell is going on? Why won’t they stay wet? And I’m licking my lips like every ten seconds to keep them from completely drying out, to the point where I won’t be talking for a minute or two, and then when I go to say something or eat something or take a drink, I open my mouth and realize that my lips have cemented in place, so when I do open them, they crack open, the super sensitive lip skin just tearing apart. And that’s because fall is over. And it’s winter. And I didn’t even realize it.
And winter is great also. I love roasting stuff in the oven. Hot coffee becomes something soothing again, something comforting, not just a means for injecting caffeine into my system. I can really ride my bike to work as fast and as hard as I can and I won’t be sweating at all. But I feel like I only got to enjoy winter for one week this year before my body started to physically protest the change in weather. This wasn’t like me being bored and complaining because I’m a huge whiner. This was my body complaining, saying stuff like, it’s so dry than my lips won’t function anymore.
I don’t understand the extreme reaction that most buildings and workplaces employ as a response to a little drop in temperature. They blast this dry furnace heat nonstop, making it so it’s warmer inside than it is during the fall, during the summer even. It’s just, yeah, it’s cold outside, and maybe this blast of heat feels great for a second, when you’re just coming inside, but once you acclimate, it’s too much, it’s too hot.
Whatever, I bought some Chapstick and kept it in my pocket and that seemed to be doing the trick for a little bit. But then the rest of my body followed suit, like my lips were just a precursor to the dryness and itch that were to engulf the rest of my being. So I’m constantly itchy because it’s so dry everywhere, including my own house. But what are you going to do? I just lie in my bed at night and sleep for twenty minute intervals until some itchy spot on my back forces me awake.
And then Thanksgiving is over and then Christmas and New Years pass and you’re like, OK, that was fun, another great round of holidays. What’s next? On to the next season, please. But it’s still only January. And then you have February. And then even though March is always associated with spring and warm and nice outside, March is never nice, never warm enough. And you might get one nice spring day in April, like a really great day where you can go to the park and you don’t have to wear a jacket, but then the next day is freezing again. But you’re defiant, you’re like, screw that, it’s spring, I refuse to put back on my winter coat. I don’t care if it’s thirty degrees out. But you put it on eventually because it’s freezing out. And then it starts raining, because April is all about rain. And then it’s May and you’re like, what the hell, why can’t it just be nice out already?
You know, I think it’s me, constantly complaining. I think it’s human nature. You’ll always want what you don’t currently have. And so, when I’m at my itchiest in the winter or my sweatiest in the summer, I guess I can always take comfort in the fact that I’ll never find lasting physical comfort in anything, that moving to California won’t solve my problems, that buying a new air conditioner won’t stop the summer from being any less oppressive than it was the year before, because comfort is fleeting, a brief pause in the squirming around that is life, a pause that only makes the longer periods of discomfort more pronounced.