So, January is in the books. We had 62 days of rain last month, 14 of them banked earlier and another 17 on credit, and people were starting to squeak about it. Not me. Seems to me this is right in line with a proper January. But we have a whole lot of new people moving into this town and a bunch of them must have thought they could drag some of their old weather in with them. They feel grumpy and misled. I’m not sure why. We do have a reputation for greenery. Even some of us are a little green–the sedentary types only on the north side. We who have been here a long time feel a little smug about it all. Like the newcomers don’t have a right to complain.
Which doesn’t mean the old-timers don’t complain. It’s just that our complaints have more legitimacy, coming on the heels of decades of legacy whining. Just you wait, the old-timers say. Get another thirty or forty soggy years under your belts and then you can start bitching. We’re the old farts with a mortgage and medical bills asking the sniveling children what they think they have to complain about.
Yesterday I got caught on the sidewalk behind two people walking side by side with umbrellas. It was weird. Umbrellas are wide and pointy and a threat to the social compact. And the mark of the newcomer. There’s no point in it. The anticipation of being drenched just gets all drawn-out. Jump in the lake and get it over with. Slap on some rain gear and get on with your life. If you have an umbrella and one other item, you’ve got nothing left to hold your beer with.
Thing about the newcomers, though, they might be right about having drug some of their old weather with them. It’s not dry, but holy moly it’s warm. Seems like every day in January was solidly in the fifties instead of twenty or thirty degrees lower where it belonged. And that simply can’t be right. Nobody needs an abundance of degrees all the time. It’s wasteful. You need a little chill to set up properly. That’s what winter’s for.
You need it to put snap in your soul. You need it to kill off the nasty bugs of your disposition, the lazy, entitled notion that the world is here to serve you. You need it to kill off the earworm larvae that will pester you in the summertime. (When the weather’s fine, when you got women you got women on your mind. Chh chh-chh uh.)
There are people in this world whose chief goal is to live in a hammock and feel comfortable in their underwear all year long. Is there anything wrong with that? With shunning adversity? Or with spending half the year pining for the other half?
I think there is. I don’t trust it. And I couldn’t give you a single reason why, except that it comes from somewhere bone-deep, ancestral, a message from my fore-Vikings. I need to chew on butter. I need to tuck my fat yellow braids in my belt as I brace against the wind and look around for someone to cleave asunder with my broad-axe. I am not murderous, but I am ready.
And we need to be ready. There is adversity. Knock the frost off your pitchforks, people: those toasty fucks in Mar-A-Lago won’t even see us coming.