‘Sounds like SAD,’ said the doctor, ‘but that would be ridiculous’ and with a smirk he hustled me out the door with a prescription for branded drugs.
But now I sit in front of industrial strength blinds, dreaming of long Swedish nights, because I do have SAD, but not for the winter.
I am a summer SAD. And it’s not just the heat, and the light, and the moisture that collects on the back of bus seats and sticks to your trousers. No. It’s the organised trips to the lido. The expectations of a picnic, every weekend. All the fucking pimms. The slow reveal of flesh, the phallic ice cream choices and the increased public fondling.
Mum and dad, I confess, I faked my way through the long dusky evenings of my childhood, that yelp of glee as we jumped into the ravine was actually despair. I didn’t want to sit inside the villa and skip the bicycle ride because I was going through a phase, or because I was just really into books. It was because I was longing for the shadows. Give me icicles, crunch of snow underfoot, ice-skating and nearly falling down in public, catching myself and declaring, ‘did you see that? I almost fell.’
Give me hot chocolates and red fingers, constricted arteries and heating I can’t afford.
I only date in the winter. I only go out when I can layer, cover my pale flesh in oversized exotic jumpers and when my friends ask where I have been all summer, why I missed the barbeques and the charred meat I tell them, I was going through a phase, and that I am just really into books.
But my oddness is forgotten as soon as I come alive, buying all a round of schnapps.