Living in Wisconsin, everyone is on their last legs by the time March rolls around due to the intense and extended darkness and cold.
Stiff and frozen, we idealize warmer temperatures and dreamily look forward to grilled food, sunshine, fresh air, backyard parties and summer activities.
Of course, this year none of that has been especially possible due to the global pandemic+++.
Hence, people are losing their shit.
My husband and I live in an apartment without a yard so we’re basically transparently pale at this stage, starved of sunlight.
Furthermore, since “not fucking around” fireworks have become a staple since March we also can’t go outside in fear we will be hit by a projectile.
And now the temperature is quite hot and we have one window air conditioner which does look like it’s wearing an apocalyptic diaper as my husband observed last night and we’ve hung a heavy curtain to keep the cold in this single room.
And here we huddle, independently, separately.
I miss winter where we huddled more closely.
In winter, you can snuggle or put a sweater on or dance or pile blankets over yourself.
In summer, you cannot get any more naked than naked and you still find little relief and now you’re naked and sweating.
To me, all that is rather disgusting.
So it’s a bit much.
Consequently, I’m doing that thing where I attempt to cognitively escape present reality MOMENTARILY so as to maintain sanity.
A necessary activity, coping and maintaining sanity.
Though I have always idealized wandering around the city in an comprehensively insane state.
I see other people doing it and I’m a little jealous.
Sanity is a slippery slope.
And many Americans seem to be mistaking “patriotism” for “anarchy.”
But back to romanticizing insanity…
I also have idealized shuffling around in a robe and slippers through the gardens of a mental institution, perhaps a cup of tea in my hand.
In either scenario — wandering the street or being formally institutionalized — I’d have to be a lot wealthier than I am because any mental institution I’d end up in would certainly not have gardens or robes, and, if I was wandering in the streets, utterly mad, I’d only be able to do that in the summer as, if I did that in the Wisconsin winter, I’d quickly freeze to death or end up in jail or be murdered on Day One.
In the summer, I’d probably also end up in jail because homelessness is somehow “illegal” and murder feels like an equal-opportunity happening regardless of the season.
But… summer feels like the most ideal time to wander and be insane.
So I guess it’s my season to shine if I was to let go and pursue madness. And, nowadays, there are plenty of crazy people out there so I wouldn’t be alone.
Yet, I’m not ideologically aligned with most of the colorful crazies and things are very tense right now so it’s not a great idea to go wander the streets, mad or not.
As such, it’s best to maintain sanity for as long as it’s accessible and also stay indoors.
Therefore, I am remembering winter as a mental health exercise.
Mind over matter.
And I’m remembering last January when I was so relieved to see the sun.
Not only that, we had witnessed the sun TWO DAYS IN A ROW.
Last January in Wisconsin had been so endlessly cold and dark.
I think of this now as I slowly slide down the couch to avoid the sun rays which are streaming through the window.
The damn sun follows me.
Like bugs do.
Both are essential for survival and yet…
In any case, back in January, I was mistakenly starting to think that things were really turning around and it was largely all due to the sun’s appearance.
I felt it was the little things.
Or the giant things, such as the ball of fire in the sky.
In fact, the sudden sunny weather had even cheered my husband David’s evil Pixel phone.
He and I had gone for a Sunday drive last January because it felt appropriate what with the sun and all.
The day was sunny, clear and bright and it had warmed up. It was a lovely Sunday.
During our drive, we had to make a stop to get gasoline.
And, while David was inside the Amoco station and I was waiting in the car with his phone on the dashboard, the silence was broken when his phone suddenly blurted out:
“LOVE SEEMS TO BE THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE.”
I’m all about signs.
But my husband and I never talked to or engaged with our Pixel phones.
They were evil spies and also rather dumb.
In fact, I believe my own Pixel phone died from loneliness as every time it would pipe up with an “I didn’t hear you” or “I didn’t understand what you said” I would turn to it and yell,
“NO ONE IS TALKING TO YOU. NO ONE IS EVER TALKING TO YOU.”
But when David’s phone gave her commentary on the notion of love on that cold, sunny January morning, I waited for her to continue and, when she didn’t, I nodded and replied:
And then his phone and I sat in silence until David returned, and I kept side-eyeing it, wary and suspicious.
If a BIRD had landed on my open car window’s edge and said, “LOVE SEEMS TO BE THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE” I would have really engaged.
But to have this disgusting traitor phone say it… well, it seems that its AI is at that point in the science fiction movies where it is learning about love. And soon after it interacts with more people and decides it needs to take over the world because most humans do not operate under the guiding force of “love” and thus need to be destroyed because love is in fact our greatest weapon and humans can’t even figure that out.
“They gotta go.” – Robot Force
So David’s phone was apparently in the cheery and hopeful stage before the time when she and her fellow robots take over.
That was disturbing and nice.
And so we finished our Sunday drive and went home and I picked up my smashed iPhone 5 which Verizon resurrected for me as my Pixel had died from loneliness before it was paid off.
The Verizon workers were astounded that my broken, old iPhone started.
Thus, I pressed the button of my iPhone 5 because I did like talking to my resurrected zombie phone.
I realize I’m somehow preferring Apple to Google but Apple created the iPod and so it’s still my favorite evil corporation.
And I know plenty other machines, humans and other manufactured goods who couldn’t withstand a slight breeze so I had developed quite a bit of respect for this zombie phone.
Therefore, I looked lovingly at my old broken phone which was somehow now functioning once again and said,
“I love you, phone.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I know. But you’re great.”
“I do my best.”
I miss winter and my broken iPhone 5 which is back in my bedroom dresser drawer, waiting to be again resurrected when the robots rise against us.
After we’re done rising against each other.
Happy Independence Day, America. Let’s pull it together enough so as to prevent the Robot Wars, the sequel to the Civil War, the sequel to Contagion and…
yeah, I don’t want to sound super pessimistic and we have to keep fighting the good fight but, when feeling deflated and low, my money is on the Robot Wars
and it’s nice to know I have a friend on the inside.
4 thoughts on “Remembering Winter and My Smashed, Broken Robot Friend”
As Wisconsinites, all we have is hope that the next season will be the one that we were waiting for. 😄 I only like spring and fall, the other 9 months are forever wrecking tour skin and hair. Xoxo
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Your not tour! Gah!!
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Hee hee yes my favorite seasons are late spring and autumn. The rest I’m just tolerating. My skin and hair can never be helped. But yes, my BBF, TO THE NEXT SEASON! If it comes! xoxoxox