January Freeze


The lights and busy schedule of the holiday season carry me into January, but then I’m left standing in the cold, exhausted and confused, with no clear direction or purpose. This was a familiar rhythm in my life until almost a decade ago, and I’d almost managed to forget about it since then.

For the last 9 years or so I’ve gone to a 24-hour movie festival in Evanston, generally held near the end of January. (It’s a student-run affair, so on some years the date slips a little.) There are a few scheduled breaks for foraging and a raffle, but it’s pretty much a grueling, non-stop ass-a-thon. Several attendees, myself included, pride themselves on staying awake for nearly all of it. This is especially challenging as many of the films are selected precisely for their lack of quality.

Have you ever seen Meatloaf wage a losing battle against an odious yeti puppet? I have. And while I may not be better for it, I can now watch most Nick Cage movies without flinching.

Attending these gave me something to focus on, and my post-celebratory collapse moved to February — the worst month of the year, but mercifully short.

For various reasons, I’m no longer going to this particular film festival. This is a significant blow to my social calendar, but it’s also left me staring at a very long and cold month just to get to February. I’m a little numb, increasingly apathetic yet also irritable, and I just want to bury myself in my flannel sheets. In short, I’m depressed.

I hate this. I refuse to give in to it anymore, and simply delaying it isn’t a winning strategy. I may feel like hiding, but I have too much to do — stories to write, comics to make, a career to build, music to play. I can’t let myself just sit numbly on my couch while the cats wander over my body.

So while my friends are getting ready for their pilgrimage, I’m pushing myself to keep moving. Take out garbage. Put dishes away. The more I make myself do, the less hold inertia has on me, and maybe I can stay productive. At least until February.

6 thoughts on “January Freeze

  1. Any chance of getting another end-of-the-month shindig to look forward to? There’s a U-Con boardgames event at the Corner Brewery on January 27, which would at least be a thing of some merit.

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