For those of you who don’t know, S.A.D. is one of those new-age, PC terms for being bloody miserable when the weather’s crap. It stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Critical Analysts of Literature call it Pathetic Fallacy. I call it February.
I hate February. I’m going to make that clear right now. February can fuck off. February to me these days is this big, black, seething mass I can glimpse from miles off like a dark cloud, I know its coming but I can’t do anything about it. It just sits there waiting for me to pass through it again and again and again and again. February is that mountainous pile of washing up you never want to do but you can’t eat your dinner if you don’t so you put it off till your down to your last spork but you know you’ve got to clean all your pots and pans at some point.
Sorry, I’ve lost where I was going with this…
Oh yeah, why do I hate February? Well every year it seems to stand there like Popeye Doyle from the French Connection waiting for me to get there, so I drag my feet as slowly as I can dawdle but I always get there and there he stands, rubbing his knuckles, at which point he smiles darkly and says “Stomach or Face?” and just like in the Matrix it turns out I’ve already made my choice and BAM! Right in the kisser (or gut, depending). Or put simply, shit goes bad in February.
If it’s not Valentine’s Day reminding me how miserably lonely I am as it is specifically designed to (Parenthetical Aside: Does anyone, other than wealthy spouses, agree with Valentine’s Day? We all know its the most cynically manipulated and most evil ‘celebration’ of the year right? Designed by a committee from Hallmark and Thorntons to sell truck loads of useless, tasteless crap, we all know that right? So why do we still buy into this bullshit?), it is a relationship breaking up days before FUCKING Valentine’s day, or my life falling apart before my eyes in a foreign country, or those three unexpected bills at once so I have to live in abject poverty for four weeks, or ending up living back at my mother’s, or that bout of bacterial tonsillitis rearing its head again a month after I thought it had gone, or my Dad DYING. So yeah, I fucking hate February.
I know it’s just a month, an arbitrary line in the sand invented so we can date our lives and make a nice cheery measuring stick that helps us quantify the precious life we waste between cradle and grave, but there seems to be an oh-so-lovely vortex of despair hovering within it. Maybe it’s the point in space we pass at this time of year, a fixed point in our solar system of negative emotional energy that is perfectly in tune with my neurons. Or something. Whatever the bloody reason February hates me. And I hate it.
Some people suffer from SAD in January, it’s cold, dark, no Christmas to look forward to, all the bills coming in and so on. Not me! Because I’m waiting for February to come hauling its flabby, obsidian bulk over the metaphorical timeline horizon and settle on me like an ice cold blanket of foetid and evil whale blubber. Which is a shame because I actually rather like February’s climate. It is archetypally English in its aesthetic. I went for a walk with two friends yesterday along the Mersey and a thick fog had rolled in, it was lovely. Everything was chill and muted, haunting spindly fingers of trees appearing ghostly out of the mist, echoing calls of ducks invisible behind the sheets of fog, the gentle babble of the river, the dim grey diffused light… I wish I had brought my camera, it was beautiful. Its that kind of melancholy I can deal with.
The melancholic character is a recurring character in Shakespeare and is normally one of the best. Melancholy is helpful and an attitude I am all too quick to assume but it serves a purpose. You can have no highs without the lows and wallowing on occasion is a very cathartic experience. We all do it; put on a sad record, watch a weepy movie, stare meaningfully out the window, etc, and we feel all the better after or we are at least remembering the happy things that have past. February does not have this effect on me.
February is so crap, so unremittingly bleak and oppressive that I don’t even have the energy to do any of that. I actually get scared in February because I look back over the year and think what have I done since last February and on the whole I am presented with positive things but then I look ahead to beyond February and then that crushing weight hits me, the one big thing that I carry around with me all the time:
I have no idea what I’m going to do.
Everyday this little niggle gets to me but I can bat it down with weak excuses normally but not in February, oh no. February calls me up to the front of the class knowing I haven’t done my homework and tries to get me to do all the work on the board as I hear the snorts of derision and laughter from the class behind me. I spend February thinking about all the other shitty Februarys I’ve had and wondering how bad next year’s will be and sit around wishing it was over so I can go back to coasting through life with no ambition or particular drive.
This year? I’ve had some good ‘uns already, most are personal and it is not the place to talk about on here but I think general loneliness sums up this year’s Month of Poo but I had a distinctly unpleasant one this evening and have been sitting staring at this screen for an hour feeling particularly pessimistic about everything. Not least the fact that I have wasted an hour of the incredibly limited space of free time I have between one working day and the next. Most of which is spent asleep or wishing I was Batman. And the hall light is stuck on, which means all I get is light pouring into my bedroom window even with the curtains closed as my bedroom window is at a right angle to the corridor and its 100watt bulb. People keep mentioning the amplifier I just bought was a good thing in February but I remind them that I actually bought that in January.
So, YES, I am in a bad mood in case you had not gathered. And seeing as I only have myself for company for the next 2 weeks I thought I’d share with the 3 or 4 people that read this in what is less a cry for help, more of a “This is why I’m in a bad mood, no need to worry” spleen-venting exercise. So there. Fuck off February and for what its worth I’m glad next year you’ll have a day amputated to make you shorter, you vindictive epoch of shit.
Tell me how many times the word ‘February’ appears in this post and win a prize.