The Itch

It starts small.

Like a breeze in the fold of your mind as the snow clouds gather.

“I need something cool and fruity. Let’s stop by Whole Foods. I heard they have Costa Rican pineapple this week.”

Hmm. You wonder what the weather is like in Costa Rica. You check the Travel Channel. Nice. A catalog with a preview for Spring Clothes  ARRIVES IN YOUR MAILBOX.

You’re not the cruising type, but isn’t that water pretty and clear? You can see all manner of sea life, Honey. And my, what a blue sky.

Jimmy Buffett comes on the radio. He’s in Margaritaville, which you know is fictional, yet consistent with the sandals on page 34 of the catalog. You schedule a pedicure and consider songwriting.

Other people – those that enjoy cold weather and believe snow is an opportunity, make plans for skiing and snowboarding.

But not you. You debate the difference between Chilly and Downright Unnecessarily Freaky Cold. You fill your bath tub and pretend you’re in Aruba.

Your significant other inquires after your thyroid. Perhaps you need to have it checked. The red flags for low thyroid are Extreme sensitivity to cold and Lethargy. It sounds like you, but you know what would fix all of this… Salt Water. Buckets of it.

You decide that you next article, short story, etc, has a warm locale. In fact, a trip will be written off on the research & time spent near the equator. It’s not Europe, but hey, look at Randy Wayne White,  Gabriel García Márquez and even Mark Twain. Research under the new electric blanket is not the same.

Freelancing jobs can be scarce. You buy more pineapple. More listening to Jack Johnson. More Jimmy Buffett. You grill out in the freezing rain and laugh at the absurdity.

You check the internet for deals.

Soon enough,You have your story outlined, more or less, about a heart broken girl, unhappy with her life in _(cold environment)__ who finds satisfaction in _(warm environment)_ through _(discovering her life-long dream/herself)_ after her conflict with _(her psychotic mother, neglectful father, faithless boyfriend/husband)_.

Blah, blah, throw in some history that ties into the subplot and the internal journey and “HONEY! Don’t we have some Sky miles somewhere??!! I have to go to BRAZIL.”


“Or maybeArgentina,” you say, throwing back the electric blanket and ripping open you dresser. “Where is my bikini? I have a story to write!”

He frowns as if something is wrong with you. Like the winter is just doing it’s NORMAL thing. Like this happens every year.

“Did you make the appointment to get your thyroid checked?”

Nothing is wrong with your thyroid. You simply hate winter from the bottom of your soul. Snow is for looking at. In a picture. And for the life of you, you don’t understand why people have paintings of snow scenes hung on their walls, just looking at those makes you cold. If seasons are metaphors for life, and winter is death, why would anybody hang that on their wall? Might as well be a picture of a casket.

So, with that incredibly sane argument, a trip is made. Because you threatened never to make pound cake again. Because you love one another and have something to celebrate. Because he’s tired of hearing it. Because you’ve both been working hard and need to reconnect.

And quite suddenly, you feel better about the world. The story will be killer because you already lived it.

If just for one cold January afternoon.


Leave a Comment

  1. After the first big snow and sledding extravaganza I’ll start getting homesick and ready for a salty, sandy, Buffety change of scenery. Sorry you’re stuck with all this yucky weather. It would be more fun if it were snow. I’m tired of looking out the window and thinking that my backyard would make one heck of a zombie movie set.

  2. I agree, this winter hasn’t been too bad, but I too prefer Jaipur’s 110* weather to this below 40* NYC in the Wintertime bullshit! I feel you – if I could afford it, I’d want a tropical vacation too.

  3. Exactly!! Misty, your dear friend Kim sent me this way and I’m so glad she did. As a native New Englander now living in the South, I don’t miss the snow! Thanks for making a cold NC night feel tropical! 😉

  4. Sweet piece of writing. 🙂 I am also feeling summer/warm weather withdrawals, and I think you portray well the feelings we writers harbor when it comes to our stories and the locations at which we write them.

  5. So does this mean I can blame the thyroid condition afterall? Have my tickets for Atlanta in late March. Going to get a rental car and head for the Gulf. Thanks for giving me permission. 🙂

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