Saturday, March 29, 2008
The Ides of March
Apparently, before Julius Caesar was slain, March 15th was just an ordinary day, sometimes mid month being the time that debts came due. Before our current calendar, the 'ides' just meant the middle.
I'm not normally a superstitious person, but there have been some rather harrowing Ides of March(es). The most memorable was a freak late snowstorm that churned itself into a blizzard as the mercury plunged below zero. That Saturday night, snuggled into our cozy cabin with city friends visiting, we had no idea two drunken snowmobilers were racing past our driveway. One of them plowed into our visiting friend's car in the blinding snowstorm. We took turns staying with the body until the Mounties arrived. Since that night, I've never felt a wind that brutal. I began to not take March for granted.
My morning epiphany let me in on a secret about mid-March. Each year, when the sap starts rising, I come unhinged for a couple weeks. I only noticed because it eased off today with this nice skiff of new snow. All my thoughts get let out of their cages or leave their comfy contrails and mix it up. For two weeks I have shit for brains. It is impossible to focus on the simplest most elementary motion. I have to walk myself through brushing my teeth.
I binge read, which is the only thing, other than anesthetic, or driving too fast, that helps. At work, it feels like bees buzzing inside my noggin. My 'hard drive' freezes up and there's no restart button. Simple tasks like answering email or making a list become impossible and I lose whole hours in a stoned haze. It feels like witnessing a bar fight but muted as though my head was stuffed with novocaine soaked cotton.
Lucky for me, I have perfected the look of normalcy even when I'm having a stellar meltdown. Now that I'm through it for another year, I can look back at the past two weeks with (almost) nostalgia. And, I've never been able to get any sympathy when I moan about my discomfort. Friends nod and murmer the right words, but really they think, how bad could it be? One friend even said, "I think you're exaggerating".
Even if I'm miffed at the time, they actually help me keep the 'crazies' compartmentalized. Now that I'm working on a novel, I see that I'm eventually going to make money off this drama that roils in my thought bubble 24/7 but only gets revved up during the sap rising, Ides of March. I decided those conversations and characters are all just scrambling around in there trying to get out. No problem dudes. You'll get your own page one day.
It's great in a way. My friends have always helped me to not compound the interest by wallowing. Because I look so good doing it, my angst doesn't register on the Richter scale for me or my friends. I mean, how bad could it be?
I only know that when the storm passes for another year, I feel so good it should be illegal!!