Today I woke up with “Like the Weather” by 10,000 Maniacs in my head.
Why? Well, I always have some song in my head, and better the sweet crooning of Natalie Merchant that yesterday’s brain virus, which was this:
(Oh, that was kind of mean, wasn’t it? You’re going to be humming that all day, aren’t you? Bieber Fever…crazy contagious, yo.)
Sorry. Okay, back to “Like the Weather.” I haven’t thought about that song for at least fifteen years, but, because I have the peculiar (and so far completely unmarketable) ability to identify an 80’s song to fit any situation, I found myself thinking about those lyrics this morning.
The color of the sky as far as I can see is coal grey.
Lift my head from the pillow and then fall again.
With a shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather.
A quiver in my lips as if I might cry.
Well by the force of will my lungs are filled and so I breathe.
Lately it seems this big bed is where I never leave.
Shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather.
Quiver in my voice as I cry,
“What a cold and rainy day. Where on earth is the sun hidaway.”
Seriously: Where on earth IS the sun hidaway?
I try my best not to whine. I realize I’m one lucky chick with one privileged life. But damn if Mother Nature ain’t on my sh*t list these days.
Not since growing up in Kansas, where folks would gather on the porch with transistor radios until the tornado warnings sent them scurrying to the basement, have I spent so much time as this winter thinking about the weather. Cold. Grey. Snow. Slush. Rain. Repeat. Pretty soon it will be frogs, then hail mixed with fire, and eventually zombies will be involved.
I hate this winter’s weather so much I’m trying to figure out how to kill it in my next book.
Because here’s the thing: Like that cute little barefoot Natalie Merchant, I am affected by the weather. I shouldn’t be. My job is indoors. Most of my favorite city activities are indoors. In theory, I don’t even need to go outside.
But somehow my body knows that it’s trecherous out there. And when it’s trecherous, I get lazy. I made myself go to the gym today, but my legs were moving halftime on the treadmill as if to say, “What do you expect, woman? It’s raining out there.”
I can’t even write. My brain’s a little foggy. My eyelids are sort of droopy. Somehow the sound of rubber tires on those wet Manhattan streets is so loud I can’t concentrate. It’s so dark outside I can’t get enough light. At least that’s how it feels.
But give me a dry, sunny day, and I’m the Energizer Bunny on crystal meth. I’ll jump from bed, do a double work-out, and jam on my laptop for a couple or few thousand words. I’ll tidy the apartment, run my errands, open my mail, and pay my bills. I’ll take a shower and brush my hair. I’ll even smile at strangers without scaring them.
These days… well, let’s just say it’s a good thing you can’t see me or my apartment right now. Pretty sights, neither.
I gather I’m not alone in my primal connection to the weather. Just ask Natalie Merchant.
But despite old song lyrics and that urban legend about suicide rates in Seattle, I know some people who hate the sun and love the rain. People who are energized by snow. People who love clouds. Maybe it’s just how we are wired.
What’s your story? Are you affected by the climate, or are you able to tune it out? If you are affected, which weather reports float your boat, and which send you back into bed?
If you liked this post, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or my newsletter. In the meantime, I’ll be trying to cheer myself up without Mother Nature’s help. I was like, baby, baby, baby no… baby, baby, baby…