Stream of Conscious Sweat

I sleep during the day. Unless I wake up and can’t sleep.

I was plastered to the sheets by sweat, so when I pried myself loose I slouched over to the computer and tried to distract myself. This is the result. It’s grumpy. It rambles.

But I found it worth posting.


It’s 80 degrees in my apartment, and I can’t sleep.

I don’t transition well between the seasons of the year. I’m built for colder weather. My blood burns hot, and early Spring and late Autumn are my favorite parts of the year. Chilly rain and overcast days make me happy, two things the more sun obsessed of the populace keep moaning about as gloomy.

But honestly, when was the last time they really looked at the colors on a rainy day? Unless my eyes are wired differently, unflinchingly bright days just bleach the colors from the world. On a stormy day, Spring grass is such a vivid green it almost glows, but that same grass on a sunny day is a pale shade of what it should be.

I’ve touched on this before, though it was a few years ago so you’re forgiven if you haven’t read about it. The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year is an ode to a rainy Autumn day, and is worth reading even if you consider those abysmal.

And there’s none of this bitching about sunny days in it, just being happy about a rainy one.

That does bring up a good point. This shouldn’t be a post with just me bitching. I’m not a negative guy, and that’s not what I want to read about.

Maybe I’m just grumpy. It’s 80 degrees in my apartment, and I can’t sleep.

I handle seasonal transition about as deftly as a cement truck handles corners. Fifty degrees is great weather for me, and seventy is most people’s norm. Two weeks ago it was about 40 degrees on average. Right now that’s getting close to 70, and because I’m not used to it I’m sweltering. I’ll adjust, but it takes time for me to get there.

About the time I’m okay with 70 degrees, it’ll be averaging 90.

And I can’t just turn on the AC. I’ve got to grit my teeth and bear it, or I’ll be a puddle of groaning sweat by the time it hits 100.

And it will, because I live in Illinois. Winters here are cold and sometimes bitter, the Summers long, and the Spring and Autumn short. Weather here is not for the faint of transition, at least in my area. I’m smack dab between two of the State’s great rivers, and grew up near the tallest point between those two, so hell and high water often happen. This year we had thunderstorms a week after a blizzard, and the year before there were tornado warnings in January.

Sure, those were both more credit to national weather patterns, but dag gummit it sounds better when applied to local lore.

So why do I stay? Illinois is a debt-ridden state with a history of corrupt governors, and it’s a conservative state with an incompetent and huge city up north that tries to run the rest of it. Personally, I hate discussing politics, but if I had to choose a party– I wouldn’t. Though close enough is Libertarian, in that I’m in the middle. I support owning guns and I have gay friends. I hate people feeling entitled for things they haven’t earned, and I’ve watched neighbors scam the government of cheese– then overheard them bragging about it. I have ultra liberal friends, and ultra conservative friends, and I try to remember that when we disagree, they’re still doing what they think is right. I have to believe that, or I wouldn’t be friends with them.

But there’s something to be said about your homeland. The county and the place, and the land itself… Mine has rolling fields of planted crops, high bluffs of stone and earth and green, and misty lowlands near the rivers and the creeks. The towns are small, the highways long and often lonesome. And the trees, so many and so green, with all the brush in the copses in between.

I’ve tried living in cities, and between the constant crush of other people and the inanimate and omnipresent taint of pavement and buildings… Yeah, cities aren’t good for me. I’m no hippie, but I need to see trees. Parks are a pale imitation of a private walk in the wild. I need to feel the good earth alive, have soil that isn’t sectioned off.

Man, am I still bitching?

I guess I am grumpy. It’s 80 degrees in my apartment, and I can’t sleep.

I think I’m gonna go douse my feet in cold water, then crawl back into bed.

~Matt Booker

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