Cabin fever in the summer just seems wrong. Coming from cold places with what it’s fair to call dreadful weather, I’m conditioned to expect cabin fever in the winter. There’s a logic in it that makes sense to me – the cold, wet, ice, and snow, the short dreary days – they drive you inside, where you do what you can to create light in the darkness, and heat in the dark, to foster the illusion that you didn’t really want to go outside anyway.
But cabin fever in the desert (at least, my desert) comes in the summer, because it is simply much too hot to go outside. You spend your time going from one artificial climate to the next, trying to avoid contact with the outside world at all costs. Even walking out into the dark of night is like walking into an oven, which seems very odd when you’re used to thinking of the shade as cool. Your skin isn’t burning from the sun and you keep thinking you should feel cooler, but you just really don’t.
And the worst is that this is the time of year when I expect to be able to go outside. Summer is vacation and a break from school and relaxed schedules and picnics and swimming and hiking and biking. It’s freedom in a way that winter, in a cold climate, is not – the freedom of long days and golden twilights extending the time you can spend in all your summer pursuits.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that the freedom of summer is illusory in many other places, too. Massachusetts and Minnesota can both get ridiculously humid (not helped by a dearth of AC, either because buildings were too old and never retrofitted, or cheap bastards figured AC wasn’t worth it for the three to five weeks it was truly necessary), which leads to MOSQUITOS. There’s nothing like collecting 32 bites to your ankles while waiting in line at the outdoor ice-cream stand to convince you that summer is actually kind of a pain.
But the northeast and Midwest still fit that glossy magazine ideal of summer better than the desert, which is winter cabin fever turned on its head. (And don’t get me started on how the bugs here can be worse.)
Which is all a long drawn-out way of saying that the summer is making me a bit nutty, which may be why this:
Has now turned into this:
And I swear that when I sat down to write this, I didn’t even realize my last post was about (potentially) ripping things back, too. For some reason it’s clearly on my mind these days.