Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tropical Capricorn

Once upon a time I left winter in Washington for winter in Beirut. Ok, well, twice upon a time, but once was entirely my own choice. Sure, it gets "cold" there - fifties on the bad days - but it rarely is uncomfortably cold, and you can choose winter by going to the mountains, where snow is plentiful.

In the northern half of the United States, and increasingly so in the southern half, you can't choose winter. It exacts its wrath upon us regardless of our preferences, rendering us completely helpless to control our lives as we think we control them. Snow days, traffic delays, filthy cars, hibernian temperatures that make you forget what it feels like to be warm...the weather dictates what we can and cannot do.

Perhaps it is that feeling of helplessness that causes so many people to fall into the abject abyss we call depression. Call it cabin fever, call it seasonal affective disorder, call it melancholy as they did in Shakespeare's time. Winter stinks.

Usually it's the light that gets to me most, but it when February rolls around and the days seem like an eternity longer than they were in December, that's not the issue. No, with February it's the fed up kind of feeling. We've already been suffering for a few months and we know spring is right around the corner but the waiting continues and there's nothing we can do about it. Usually Washington is better around mid-February and you're getting fifty degree days regularly, but now we're struggling to even get above thirty and today we're not even reaching twenty. It isn't right.

Spring Training started yesterday and temperatures are in the forties in Florida, so there's not even refuge there. I suppose Miami is still warm and sunny - I still have no desire to go there except to check another ballpark off my list. I would, however, consider the Keys, which have been romanticized in my mind by Hemingway. Images of that long bridge frighten me, however. It wouldn't prevent me from going there. If I weren't going to Spain in April I'd definitely get on a plane
to what might be the most insane state in the US, where "Florida Man" does something stupid every hour and Skittles are considered deadly weapons, all to get away from the frozen tundra that has come over our nation's capital.

What I don't understand about all of this cold weather is how many people in this country are completely clueless about climate change. It's second grade science. That thing you stand on called the Earth is what is warming up, not the temperatures. A warmer earth means the oceans warm up. In second grade you learn about water and air currents. Warmer oceans shift air currents, which are part of what gives us our climates. Very simple stuff, yet some people can't grasp it. At least most people finally get that it is happening, but years of propaganda by those wealthy narcissists who know they'll be dead by the time the situation is bad enough has already taken their toll on the health and security of our nation and the world.

I am perfectly fine with living in a shack on a tropical island to live out my life. I wish I had grown up near the ocean so I had at least some idea of the skills one needs to eke out a living on the beach. Right now even working on fishing boats seems appealing to me. I'm sure there will be some affordable property available in Havana in my lifetime, a nice little fixer upper that I can renovate and open as a B&B, which will be adorned with photos of Hemingway and Omar Linares and whatever memorabilia I can find of the Havana Sugar Kings, the Cincinnati Reds AAA affiliate in the fifties before the revolution. I can drink at  La Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio, two of Papa's favorite watering holes, and never, ever have to worry about snow. As long as they put a minor league baseball team back in the city - or move the Marlins 90 miles south - I can be completely happy. At least until a Category 6 hurricane blows my house down.

No comments:

Post a Comment