I spent two hours a few days ago, after stupidly insisting on going for "a drive" in a blizzard to take some photographs, stuck in various snow banks, spinning the tough but small wheels of my beloved Mini Cooper and almost smashing into various poles, trees and other vehicles. I thank god I’m a good driver, for were it not for this simple fact, I am convinced that I or someone else would have been seriously injured... and no, I’m not exaggerating or making this up. It's been that bad, and with lightning too: who ever heard of lightning in a blizzard? In all my years, I’ve never heard of such a thing, but then, maybe I’m limited to my own area and we just don't get that here. Also, I confess, I’m not American so what do I know about blizzards and thunder? The answer, quite simply, is nil.
Winter is full on and with it come the dark days and we find ourselves growing more depressed, hibernating and turning inward, becoming harder to reach, more reclusive (why go out when we can hide behind the computer and we have all the nourishment we need?). In fact, the only reason I can think of to go out is for cigarettes if you smoke and even then, I’m not sure I would bother. Perhaps I would leave the house for ice cream, but even that I’m no longer sure of.
To be clear, I have become a recluse and people have started to worry. Am I turning into a female Howard Hughes? Will I soon be saving my hair and fingernail clippings? I’m already germaphobic, rubbing my hands with Purell after every door I touch. Just a tad too neurotic in this regard for anyone to leave me alone in this, and frankly, they are good friends not to do so. One cannot truly live in this state.
I recently acquired a light box (oh, laugh all you want) - one of those things for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder, which I do not have, but I have other issues which various and sundry doctors have confirmed that indeed, such a box might help. And why not, I thought, just stare into it or have it touch my eyes while I’m working on the computer and it will be fine. The doctor warned me though, and quite seriously, "But be careful, dear. People have been known to have high manic swings using light boxes." High manic swings, I heard! He sees this as a bad thing? Could he mean periods of great productivity and work when I can spit out article after article without nary a thought or trouble? This hardly seemed to me a bad if we had to judge it at all - not to me anyway. It struck me as a rather good thing. It would ward off all of the crap that keeps us down in the winter. It would ward off my bad memories of last winter (she says with a shiver, both to the weather and the people involved at the time), and don't ask because it's a long and boring story.