It is not human to endure this sort of suffering. I seem to tell myself this each and every February, as hellish January (and December, for that matter) has come to a close, leaving me with unbearable February. There is just nothing good about this month, apart from the cheap chocolate fallout from Valentine’s Day, a holiday that inevitably has me alternating between gagging and feeling incredibly sorry for myself.
But my real bone to pick with February is this god awful, torturous cold. It’s like that nagging ex who just won’t get the hint to fuck off once and for all. I know I am from Minnesota and I am supposed to be “used to it” (as every French person tells me during the winter months, as if my being born in a cold state means I was also born with a thick coat of fur like a polar bear), but I’m just not. I’m so beyond fed up.
And I wondered how many others felt this way, in a city such as Paris where girls walk around in sheer tights, miniscule leather coats and wet hair in the middle of a snowstorm. Until I listened to the not-so-subtle clues… and turns out, everyone is fed up. “J’en peux plus!”, “J’en ai marre!” Ok, Frenchies, we get it, you’ve had enough! Me too.
But what to do? I do not have enough cash from my pathetic high school girl’s job to take a trip to the islands, or even the south of France, if that’s even better than here.
In my dire state, I have plastered cheesy pictures of tropical beaches – white sand, shimmering turquoise waters… the occasional tiki hut – to the wall in front of my desk. So, while I am actually typing about Iranian female autobiographies written in exile, I am imagining myself lying semi-clothed in the shallow end of the Mediterranean. I can almost taste the sweet syrup of my Pina Colada – served, of course, by a tan, bare-chested barman – when BAM!!
The window in the hallway is blown open, the black packing tape that my roommate has affixed to keep it wedged closed having come loose, and an enormous “courant d’air” sweeps through my bedroom. And great. My lungs go directly into spasm. Bronchitis. Again. Damn those French people and their fixation on “attraper le froid” – come on, people, you don’t actually catch a cold by “catching cold”…. or do you. I really, REALLY hate to admit that they are right on this one, but it seems to be so. I suppose the snotty-nosed brats I work for aren’t helping my cause much either.
Back in my bed I go. I HATE winter. When is it over. I will hibernate here until the sun comes out again. I have enough canned goods to last at least two months, running water and three small bottles of aged Scotch, so don’t worry about me, I will be just fine. But better check on me in a few weeks, just to be sure I haven’t forgotten that showering and teeth brushing are necessary components of life. Otherwise, go out and enjoy yourself, kids. Send me some updates from time to time about life out there in the arctic. I’ll hold down the fort here.