Register Monday | June 24 | 2019

Forecast calls for periods of emotional disturbance

Second-place finalist in Maisonneuve’s "Cruelest Month” literary contest

If you've ever lived in, been to or even heard of Vancouver, then you likely know the following statements to be true:

1. It's a beautiful city.
2. It gets a lot of fucking rain.

While the truth of Statement No. 1 is hard to deny, the simultaneous truth of Statement No. 2 ensures that the truth of Statement No. 1 is impossible to remember from mid-October to mid-April. It also ensures that during this time period you're going to get wet and going to get hit with some serious winter blues.

As a Southern Californian by birth, I refuse to accept that the oppressive layer of grey and wetness that entombs Vancouver for eight months is in any way normal. In truth, I'm not sure how I've been able to hold out for the ten years that I've lived here. There has been no shortage of empirical evidence to prove to me that the lotus land of rich greens and subtle warmth, which materializes every summer, is nothing more than a crafty mirage.

Still, I am convinced that the colour-bled canvas currently framed by my living room window is, in fact, the real deviation. As such, I've come to view winter in Vancouver as something of a seasonal "time out," only to be endured until cosmic permission is once again granted for us to see the light of fucking day.

Since I've battled through the Gauntlet of Gloom several times now and am still, to the best of my knowledge, emotionally balanced, there must be something to the method of my seasonal madness. Here, in no particular order, are a few of my most trusted defences:

1. A bedfellow.
Everyone knows the best way to make a rainy day work is to plan to spend the day in bed with another person. Sex is an optional-though highly recommended-way to pass the time. Or, you know, you could talk.

2. A comfy bed.
Should you choose to spend your entire day in it, do yourself the courtesy of ensuring that the bed in question is inviting. Extra pillows are suggested for overall comfort and also prove handy for taking up excess space in lieu of a satisfactory bedfellow.

3. Hot drinks.
Who has time to think about yet another day of shit weather when it's gingerbread latte season? Keep your veins pumping with your favourite hot beverage. Plus, for the fifteen blessed minutes it takes to consume said beverage, you and your digits can revel in the illusion of being warm. That's a wait at the bus stop. If you're lucky.

4. Food.
We all know this is more of a distraction than a cure, but quite frankly, who cares? It works and it tastes good. Plus, all the holidays at this time of year provide plenty of chances to get in on some full meals and their wonderful byproduct, leftovers. As a wise man once told me, "That pie ain't gonna eat itself."

5. A gym pass.
Preferably to a fitness facility with in-house hot-tub amenities. This is to offset the inevitable effects of Defence No. 4, and to avoid unnecessary exposure to the elements. No one said you can't have your cake and eat it too. But only your pie hole and your lazy ass are to blame if you end up fat because of it. Okay, and maybe the weather. You can blame the weather too.

6. Japanese ramen houses.
Nothing fools your brain into thinking, "This rain ain't so bad!" better than a nice steaming bowl of ramen. Plus, the warm, bustling energy of these kind of establishments creates some sort of weird psychological womb in which, for the duration of your meal, you're convinced that this time of year is actually kind of fun.

7. A local pub.
There's booze. There's a crowd. There's booze. The pub is a time-tested recipe for forgetting all manner of rainy days, figurative or otherwise. Having been spawned in Britain-the very motherland of shitty, dreary weather-the creation of the public house was obviously inspired by an urgent need to pretend that the outside world doesn't exist.

8. An umbrella.
Some call it the best invention of our time; some call it a giant waste of money. Chances are you'll have it on you only about 50 percent of the time you need it, and you will proceed to lose it on 50 percent of those occasions. Still, any chance you get at decreasing the number of times you bitch about the weather is adding at least one month onto your life. Think about it as one summer month, if it makes you feel better.