Monday, June 06, 2005

Winter: 1 Eric: 0

I hate winter. This fact is well known to those close to me, or even to helpless bystanders who happen across my path as I hurriedly scrape the ice and frost off of my windshield at early in the freaking morning. Winter is not my friend. In fact, ever since I was dragged up to this Midwestern haven of ice and snow and devil’s white play-dirt, I have looked at winter as my enemy. As such, we have had many battles over the years, usually ending in a stalemate that does nothing to quell our desire to destroy one another. This year, however, winter struck a mighty blow; one that will take at least a week to fully heal.

Winter gave me a fucking sunburn.

Now, I know that sounds strange. Believe me, I know how strange it would sound if somebody said that to me. I assure you, however, that this statement is true: winter gave me a sunburn. You see, Old Man Winter is a tricky old bastard, and when engaged in a full-out battle of wills and determination with an unusually stubborn and head-strong individual such as myself, he is forced to be extra-sneaky in his attacks. This is one of those times.

Throughout this winter, I remember thinking that the weather was unusually mild; almost too mild for the Midwest. As I could count the number of times I had to scrape my car on one hand only, I reveled in the fact that this year, I had won. I had WILLED winter away from me; simply by wanting it to be so. I enjoyed the lack of snow and ice and blizzard wind so much, that I dropped my guard and turned my back….and winter stepped up, bent me over, and called me its bitch.

You see, winter gave me a false sense of hope that summer was already here; and so I would open the windows, and go outside in shorts…only to be back in my trusty leather coat the very next day as I chattered my teeth all the way from the parking garage, into the office. Then, a few days later, the sun would return and the warm weather would begin, anew….only to be subdued by the icy frost of winter, yet again. This trend continued for so long, that I became wary; I began to stay indoors, just to be safe. The snow and ice were replaced with rain and wind, and so even on “nice” spring days, it would be gloomy and dark and depressing. Winter was winning.

Then, out of nowhere, the clouds parted! The summer sun shone down upon us, and I rejoiced with the knowledge that winter’s icy grip had not tightened around my unwilling body. The time of summer had begun, and I chose to celebrate this new era of happiness with a trip to the swimming pool with Jen.

We lay by the water, enjoying books and relaxing under the sun, as the crisp breeze blew over our backs and the birds chirped. It was a wonderful time…until I began to notice a slight stinging occurring all over my body. Curious, I began to poke and prod my skin, searching for the explanation to the sudden and uncharacteristic feeling of pain I was experiencing. It was then, that the realization struck me: I was getting a sunburn.

Winter had fooled me. I had let my guard down, and during this period of ignorance, winter had been slowly causing my skin to become soft, pale, and weak. The constant rain and cloudy days caused by the cold air of winter had turned my skin into a giant, white, body-covering vagina that stood no chance of surviving an onslaught of rays from the hot sun.

So here I sit, a victim of my own over-confidence. My skin is lobster-red, and throbs with pain. The ibuprofen I took this morning has worn off, and the waves of heat roll off of me in a tsunami of discomfort. I yearn for the chance to leave work and purchase the sweet nectar of burn relief: Aloe. For the next hour, however, I must remain at my desk with throbbing limbs and itchy flesh, and count the minutes until my release.

Good form, winter…but damn you. I will not be fooled by you, again.

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