Humans are ridiculous. Fickle, impulsive, and nonsensical. Ridiculous.
And we’re aware of it, usually more than we’re even willing to admit. There’s nothing like a good snowstorm to make you assess the reality. I spent the past three days trapped at my house thanks to the momentous amounts of snow and ice moving through the South on its way to the coast. First, I must say that I recognize the privilege of having a home where I could stay warm, of having enough food in the house to outlast the weather and then some, of having a job that pays the money to have any and all of these things. Which is why I know it’s a ridiculous thing to have so desperately hoped for a few “snow days” on Thursday only to stoop—literally stoop, with some scrap metal for a makeshift ice scraper in an effort to free one of the cars, any car would do—to desparate measures in order to escape our driveway three days later. Our driveway, fully covered with a half-inch of ice underneath at least nine inches of snow. Our driveway, first my friend and excuse to miss work, then my nemesis.
I’m describing a familiar topic. In our modern world, we’re well-versed in the language of angst, of existential discomfort. Sometimes we couch the smaller episodes in sarcastic phrases like “first world problems,” which is problematic in its own way. Other times, we chalk it up to the natural human tendency to be dissatisfied, especially in an age where many of us in developed countries actually have the time to be bothered by too much down-time, by forced relaxation or minimal confinement.
In any case, even though I was not alone during the few days I was snowed in, it was so nice to get out Sunday night and have dinner with friends in a humming, busy restaurant. It was also just as nice to go home right after dinner and crawl in bed for a hard, fast sleep.
I wish I could explain this sense of unease. People much smarter than me have been at it for as long as humans have been critically thinking about their humanity, so I could just look to them. Or I could be content to accept my base introvertedness with its moments of manic need for group interaction, my occasional longing to be somewhere else just because its not where I currently am, my overall distrust of the big, open night sky tempered by my desire to be folded into its mystery.
I’m fickle, impulsive, and nonsensical. I’m ridiculous. I’m a human. Leave it to the smallest dose of cabin fever to remind me just how much.