Sunday, November 23, 2014

Can You Believe this Crap?

Right about now, you’re probably enjoying the crumbs of Autumn, preparing for Thanksgiving, and trying not to think about what's next. Winter. Remember last year's ? That really depressing one that knocked even half-glass full people on their cheerful behinds?

I freely admit that I’m not the most chipper person,writers rarely are. In fact, most of us are generally skirting the edges of the kind of cliff that one normally sees on the covers of Gothic romance novels. But thanks to years of mental health tinkering, I recognize the warning signs that pop up before I’m about to go around the proverbial bend. So when I began to experience flashbacks from Stephen King’s The Shining last February, I suspected that I’d come down with a profound case of Cabin Fever courtesy of Mother Nature. (It always gets down to our mothers, doesn’t it.)

My therapist’s advice? Get out of the house. Socialize. ASAP!

Well, this is a bitter pill to swallow for one who has found that the best way to cope with winter is to hibernate January through May. Why should I leave my cave? God invented Pea Pod so my groceries could be delivered to my front door, seventeen thousand television channels provide me with semi-entertainment, and I know how to build a fire better than most Boy Scouts.BUT…in the interest of not being found ranting and raving in the Springtime with Redrum scribbled across my living room walls, I did as my therapist prescribed and headed toward my local coffee shop, where I hoped that someone not too perky—really happy people give me migraines—would ask if they could share my table. I’d absorb the atmosphere, make chit-chat, gulp down a cup of hot cocoa, and leave the shop feeling that I’d been a good patient.

After driving the three blocks to town—a feat I likened to competing in the Iditarod—there I was, cozied up in the corner of The Roastery, when a very, very elderly woman approached the empty seat at my table. I stifled a moan and steeled myself to be assaulted by some over-the-top grandchild beaming and bragging, but as the woman un-wound her five foot long scarf with her knobby fingers, much to my surprise and delight, she suddenly jerked it up like it was a noose, and said out of the side of her mouth, “Can you believe this crap? I was counting on dyin’ before I had to go through another one of these shitty winters.”

I found myself smiling for the first time in months. Turns out that not only therapists know best, so do authors. Misery really does love company, eh, Stephen King?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this! Great post. You had me from the first word to the last.