Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hereditary Disability

It's been really dry here lately and Dad called me yesterday morning, mad as a bear. The news had been calling for rain this weekend--a seething, apocalyptic gullywasher that was going to carry off our livestock and force us all onto the roofs of our houses. So dad busted his butt on Sunday to plant all his garlic before the rains came. Instead what happened is it got really cloudy and it drizzled half an inch. Dad blamed the Madison County Board of Education.

"These people," he said. "They move out here to the country and everybody says 'oh, we gotta build'em a new school.' Because the county's 'projected to grow.' But then they build this big, ugly new school building and it sits around nearly empty because the economy crashed and now I'M paying taxes on it. What they should be doing is building all these schools like concourses at the airport with a bunch of docks on it so they can pull trailers up depending on how many kids they got."

Dad's rancor is nearly always misdirected at local government or hack meteorologists.

To tell the truth, I was grumpy yesterday too because I'm related to my dad and our emotions run on sunlight and hugs and Lay's Original potato chips. It took me a little longer to sink into the sweet pit of despair that dad was wallering in when I talked to him in the morning, but it happened. At around 5 in the afternoon, I flopped on the bed (it had started raining again) and I looked out the window at the dripping camellia bush. Bryan came in and asked me what was wrong.

"I don't think anybody likes me," I said.

Bryan laughed and then stopped kind of suddenly like a lawn mower running out of gas.

"Honey, everybody likes you," he said.

"But...." And then I didn't say anything else. Bryan rubbed my back for a while and left me to glare mournfully out at the mist and rain. When the rain let up, I went for a run and felt better. But here's the thing: I'm a psychologically healthy person with a crippling hereditary aversion to cloud cover. I'm not sure what to do about it, other than live someplace very sunny. But I've lived in the desert before and I like it better where it's green. Sunny and green like it usually is here.

The fact is, we're probably going to have to move away sometime next year because Bryan will finish his PhD and have to find a job. He was looking at postings today and he found one in Berkley, California that looked nice.

"I can't live in Berkley," I said. "Too foggy. I'd probably throw myself off a bridge or into a marina or something. Actually, I think there are a lot of bridges there, so I'd probably do that."

Bryan made a face like he was trying to condense all his features into the space right below his eyes.

Although I can accept today that I'm a generally likable person, it must be hard for Bryan to live with someone with my disability.

1 comment:

  1. It's not cloudy there, it's foggy. In fact, when I lived there that summer I was so pissed because it was 75 and sunny EVERY DAY. No clouds, no rain, nuthin'. I yearned for cloud cover for three months straight. (winter time there is probably another story, though.) I like rainy days, personally, because it gives me an excuse to stay inside, do nothing, and not feel guilty. ha!