Luxuriating in a February Gloom
It’s been nine months since I graduated from college, and February is the worst month in New York City. Most of the days are overcast to the point that the hour of the day is incomprehensible. If not, it’s drizzling. If the day is not temporally incomprehensible and it’s not drizzling, the wind is biting the cheeks, carving away like a deft butcher. Still, though, I trudge to my workout classes amidst sloughing sheets of rain or snowy sidewalks because if I don’t, my anxious thoughts spiral like a child falling down a water park slide, screaming. His mom, who hears him below, thinks his screams are of thrilled pleasure, when really he’s bellowing, “Mommy! This isn’t fun anymore!,” the whorls of the slide distorting his projections so that his mom only registers a “Mmmm–ooooOOOOO IIIIZZNNNNN — aaaaaannnooooooooooOOOOO.” She smiles to herself. How unconcerned with self-preservation children are. How daring in the face of fear.
February is also the worst month because amidst the dismal colorscape that consists of a sea of black coats dotted by the occasional pair of red rain boots or bright yellow umbrella that is, although a valiant attempt at breaking the monotony, annoying, there it arrives smack dab in the middle of it all: Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day occurring in the middle of February does not the month more pleasant make; rather, its cloying saccharinity puts into stark relief the graying air surrounding it. Imagine: a world of shuffling snow and sleet and sadness that one eventually becomes used to and almost is able to find comfort in. One day that world is relaxedly itself; the next it is infiltrated by men carrying plastic bundles of roses and shiny boxes of chocolates and women dressed entirely in pink and red (and I mean entirely). It’s as if everyone is competing to prove, “Look! Look how happy I am even in this-the-worst-of-all-months! Look how much I appreciate my partner and am just thrilled to be going on a nice date with him/her/them tonight!” What I’m saying is it’s an act. It’s fake. It’s February in the city and you’re not happy – no one is. I suppose it didn’t help that my boyfriend and I were broken up on this day.
I swear I’m not always so pessimistic, but being pessimistic can be fun. If you don’t let it be fun, you run the risk of letting it kill you. Also, as my Lyft driver told me the other night, “Being stupid is good sometimes.” “Huh,” I replied, nodding my head. Maybe Lyft guy was right. Maybe sometimes being stupid (pessimistic/dramatic/grotesquely sad/insert other socially taboo emotional state) is good sometimes. I meant to use this time to reflect on my reading and (cough ~nonexistent~ cough) writing habits. I’ll do that later. I’ve used it instead to be stupid sometimes, and it’s true: I feel pretty good about that. Look at you, Lyft guy. Thanks for the nugget of wisdom.