The day woke up like this: ragged with rain, wetting all the unprepared plants of summer. I hear it before I see it: 4:15am, and I stumble into the kitchen to boil water for tea, the rain gently disintegrating on the iron bars of the balcony. I wish I could smell the sidewalk, but I can only imagine it vaguely: hazed by small patches of lamplight- cold. I know this because the palms of my feet are cold on the vinyl floors. It’s September, I think (perhaps my first conscious thought), and already this- this being that I am turning on the heater. In September. I wish italics could properly express my emphasized annoyance.
I brew my yerba mate and sit in the laundry room where I teach English, where the four walls are so small with the door shut that I instantly become too warm and begin sweating through my shirt, details that can’t be detected on the webcam, where I look pretty and untired most days, over-enthusiastic about phonics.
Fifteen minutes until class starts, so I disinterestedly review the powerpoint, all the while allowing the urgent question to crescendo in my brain: how do I escape this state?
I know it’s ungrateful. Utah’s mountains and canyons are objectively sublime, and the winters are like winters in most places: hell, but part of the package. What are our options anyway? California, where no one can even afford rent, much less own a home. And then there is Arizona, where we planned on moving just a few weeks ago. We were even shopping construction companies to build our home, tossing around ideas for desert-themed decor and color schemes.
Things changed. We need space from my family, we decided.
Every time the winter comes, I try to sleep a full 8 hours, take my vitamin D, and stay healthy and positive. But every time the winter comes, I begin to feel insubstantial and fuzzy, as if my ligaments were held by the most delicate of gray-muscled strings. Every time the winter comes, I stop believing in spring.