08 October 2005

October

Ah, Fall! The season of seasons! Crisp, cool air; clear, jewel-blue skies; gold, ruby and fire-orange leaves on trees.

Where are the hats?! Where are the mittens?!

Why am I still wearing SHORTS?!?!??

Welcome to October. October, that is, South of the M-DL: It’s 85 frikkin’ degrees. It’s humid. I still have to use the gorram air-conditioning in the gorram car so I don’t arrive at work smelling like a gorram construction worker who’s been out in gorram sun all gorram day.

FUCK. ME.

That’s how I fucking feel about that.

‘Cuz, see, it’s exactly THIS that drives me fucking crazy about this place. It’s soft. It’s warm. ALL the fucking time. I CAN’T TAKE IT.

Seriously – it gets down to 20 degrees and people Think They’re Going To Die. Shit, it gets down to 50 and they’re breakin’ out the frikkin’ parkas like the goddamn Arctic has Come To Town. It’s fuckin’ ridiculous.

I mean, c’MON! When I lived in Wyoming, I once walked the mile to work when it was 27 below. As in, 27 frikkin’ degrees BELOW ZERO.

Granted – not the smartest fucking thing I’ve ever done. Hurts, see. Air that cold, burns the FUCK out of your lungs. Feels like you smoked a pack of cigarettes inside of an hour, no shit.

But you know what I was thinking the whole time I was sucking air through the frozen snot in my nose?

It gets almost this warm on Mars! I could survive on Mars! In what I’m wearing! (OK, OK, yeah, and a pressure suit and some sort of breathing apparatus, but you get the idea.) Isn’t it just flat-out amazing that this fragile, hairless, vulnerable ‘sack of mostly water’ which is my body can be protected, insulated and rigged out in such a way that I could – potentially – survive in such extreme conditions?

I was reading a book about sailing today – gaff rig sailing, if you care, which apparently is some sort of outdated, half-abandoned, practiced-only-by-reactionary-nostalgists type of sail arrangement (research for the next book, donchaknow). Here’s a quote from it:

“...we are cushioned almost completely from the world in which we were designed to live.”

The author is trying to explain why anyone would bother learning to rig their sailboat in this backwards, technologically inferior and old-fashioned way. He’s trying to explain what it is that drives humans – some of us, anyway – to seek out challenges, push ourselves to our limits, dare the elements, brave the coldest, wildest, remotest and most dangerous places on this planet.

His answer, so far as I can tell, is this: because we were made to. And he’s right. Look at where people live: essentially, anywhere. The Arctic. The Sahara. Tibet. Mongolia. Siberia. Australia. Even, these days, Antarctica.

He’s saying, in other words, that humans evolved strung out on adrenaline and if the environment we live in doesn’t present us with opportunities to get a hit of it, we will seek them out on purpose to get some. It makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, why else would the husband hunt? He ain’t out there stalking Bambi ‘cause he’s hungry, trust me.

Which, of course, brings Me back to Me. Why else would this constant good weather make me miserable? Why else would I pine for ice and snow? Why else would the thought of another day spent in shorts be driving me Start, Raving MAD??

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