Seasonal Affective Disorder And Me
Two eggs cooked over-easy. 2 slices of bacon. 2 slices of bread. Mayo.
This is my comfort sandwich.
I don’t eat it unless it’s time to buy groceries and I’m feeling lazy, and I’m wore out today, but It’s always been my comfort food since I moved out when I was 18 in the state of Maine.
Wow, 18. Seems like so long ago. Back then the egg-bacon-mayo was the remedy for being hungry when you’re poor. And as much as I’d thought I had the world figured out back then, I was so, so poor. Nice nights were nights I got potatoes and hamburger, dropped an overeasy egg in, maybe some spices, a whole chopped onion, stirred it up and put ketchup in it. Every time in exactly the same way. It has everything a young man needs (if you take vitamins).
Gosh, what year was that? 2003? 2004. I was a year away from the hurricane saga when I was 19.
Weather has always had a tremendous impact on me.
Before 18, I was 17. Go figure, right? I was living in Tennessee with it bright and sunny most of the year, lots of woods and forest to get into trouble in, and it was just easy to stay fit. Then, boom, our family moves to Maine. I ran away from home for two days to try to stay, and was promptly found and forced to move to Maine. Go figure. I never got away with anything.
I didn’t want to be cold or leave my girlfriend (Kari) behind. I was such a simple dude back then.
Luckily for me I had no idea just how cold it was up there.
Getting out of the car for the first time, it was a week before my 18th birthday, and the cold hit my lungs on that first breath — and it was like being shoved into a sudden, invisible wall of cold.
But the air was super clean! One thing about Maine is the air is so bizarrely clean — I mean I can’t even describe it, it’s just a clean air feeling.
After a year of it just….not…getting….warmer….I high-tailed it initially out of there to Vidor, TX and worked in a little city called Beaumont, TX. I’d briefly driven down to my old stomping ground in Tennessee that I tried to stay in to find my girlfriend had a new dude and all my friends had scattered or died or disappeared.
So, Vidor, 2005. Me and a new girlfriend, Savanna (yes I was quite popular) decide to go stormchasing in Louisiana in her Chevy Avalanche because a big one was coming. Well, it wasn’t a storm. It was a hurricane. A big one. And we didn’t realize until we were in Baton Rouge and Baton Rouge was under water. We stuck it out and got to a safe spot and then left through the miles of refugees after the storm. It was pretty graphic.
A couple months later I’m back in Vidor, and things were calming down. I did a brief stint at a hotel as a front Desk Clerk while things were crazy. We were housing the refugees with their FEMA checks and it was a place of refugees and no longer a hotel. This was also graphic. Then the horns came on and I recognized the sound. Another hurricane. It was as if God had missed and was playing a mulligan.
Beaumont was submerged in water.
I remember driving around downed trees everywhere past destroyed houses, cars, dead livestock and sometimes bodies. All the stores were closed. The national guard had evacuated survivors. My grandfather had refused to leave so we stayed with him to make sure he got his medicine.
His medicine was an injection that needed to be kept cold. He has multiple sclerosis. So we spent most of our time during that few weeks without power searching for ice from abandoned gas stations and these little army supply trucks that were set up like little shops for survivors.
Weeks went by without power and we lived like this. There were looters and they were sometimes armed. To defend ourselves and our food my grandfather, who was an antique gun collector, had given me a 38 spur-triggered smith and wesson handgun that was just awesome to see in such good condition. Oddly, it only had slots for five rounds. I had to fire it a couple times.
We learned how to make fires until the fire department drove a truck through with the siren blaring, which surprised us because we hadn’t seen a vehicle that wasn’t ours for over a month — and they stopped and said to put the fire out because we’ll have power soon.
It was over.
Then, we were told at the army checkpoint to go to the FEMA station to get our check. And we did. My grandparents each got 2000 dollars to cover a gigantic tree resting inside our roof, and my girlfriend and I each got a 2,000 dollar check for each Hurricane.
I’d never had that kind of money before at the time and knew just what to do. I was going to college. So, FEMA paid for my first semester of college.
In Maine. My parents insisted I come back up after everyone got safe and things settled. So, I drove back and my favorite truck died, and was totaled (would have cost more to fix it than the bluebook value and would have eaten into my college funds — I had to make a choice).
We eventually compromised a year later and my Dad got me a cheap 500 dollar beater — a ’94 buick century but that’s for another story.
Oh — but weather — it was a special kind of cold up there. In 2011 or so I had had it. The cold was creating knots in my back, cars are hard to keep running it’s so cold, and there were scarce decent paying jobs.
So I left that little town of Presque Isle Maine and all of its frozen glory (I’m sure my footprints to the bus station are still there frozen into the dirt).
So that’s…2003-2011 freezing my ass off except for 2005 when I was trying to stay out of cold floodwater.
Fuck the weather, man.
This year, it’s Mid-March in Ohio, it’s dreary and snowy again after a week of fake spring that was just enough to get my body ready for no more cold.
Come on, April.
I need it to be April. I need it to be warm. Took an emergency dose of 5-HTP to get my serotonin levels back up.
Got a break on a project I’ve already completed twice. This is the first night off that’s really a night off in a while and I’m just so thankful. I was honestly a little worried about burnout if I’d have had to write it a third time.
Lease signing is tomorrow along with deposit, first month’s rent. Almost there!
I need to not do anything important tonight. I’ll run through a rebuild of the VM and a mock build and see if the results are reproducible since where I last left it was with automated builds up to glibc.
Don’t. Say. Anything.