T.S. Elliot starts his poem "The Waste Land" with the line April is the cruelest month, but that's probably because he was never in Austin in January.
I love my city, I love living here, I'm incredibly happy, but... I HATE January in Austin with the fire a thousand suns.
For one, January is the coldest month here. Now, yes, I know Austin-cold isn't real-cold. I know. I grew up in upstate New York. I waited for the bus in freezing-your-nose-hairs levels of cold when every other school in the area would shut down except for mine. Local radio stations would mock our district. I know about real cold. I hate it, that's why I live in Texas. Those stretches of over 100° for weeks on end in the summer that everyone gripes about? That's my zone.
But that alone wouldn't be a big deal. I can a sweater and cope.
No, the real problem is the APOCALYPSE OF CEDAR that descends upon this city in January. To give you an idea, the Cedar count is considered "high" if it exceeds 500 grains per cubic meter. Right now, it's over FIVE TIMES that. Which, in comparison to two years ago, is downright light. Back in 2014, it got to over 17,000g/m³. One year, it was so bad, it wrecked my inner-ear equilibrium. Let that sink it: the cedar allergies were so bad that walking made me seasick.
Right now, I'm hopped up on nasal steroids and antihistamines and still I feel like a drill is being taken to my skull.
Actually thinking through this is a challenge, which is especially problematic because thinking is what I need to do. It's kind of a necessary component of writing.
January in Austin is a thing to be endured, and I will endure it, but Im more than ready to move past it.
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