S.A.D.

I’ve just got to get through the next week or two and I’ll be okay.

Yeah. Right.

I know evolutionary biology isn’t really all that interesting in these times. Shut up. I’ve got a point.

I remember before the collape seeing an article on the news about back pain. Apparently, the human spine was designed—no, evolved—for walking on all fours. The move to walking upright took our spine by suprise. It just wasn’t designed for walking on two legs. But that didn’t matter until we started to live past 45 about 300 years ago. Our backs couldn’t take it and just started to give out.

That doesn’t matter anymore. Anyone over 45 around here is old. Back pain will come younger and younger, but it will be due to overexertion or a lack of calcium. No one around here will have time for dealing with cripples. It just doesn’t matter.

But I’ve found a new problem where our biology just can’t keep up with reality.

Everyone in Central New York knows about S.A.D. No one else in the world does. When you combine our long winters with their lack of sunlight with CNY’s notoriously cloudy weather, we get hit hard with what geeks call Seasonal Affective Disorder. The wintertime blahs. It’s an effect of diminished daylight on the pituitary, but who cares? We get it bad here in Central New York. We get long winters and they drag us deep down.

S.A.D. may have made sense once. It would keep us inside and huddling around the fire in the winter. There was an evolutionary advantage to it. We wouldn’t go outside and freeze.

But now we do. Z’s freeze worse. Just when we want to stay inside and stay warm, we have to go out and take it to Zack.

The thing that made winters bearable in CNY was the spring. That feeling of waking up from hibernating and noticing that the sun was coming out and the skirts were getting shorter. It was glorious all around.  Sometime in mid-April, the buds form on the branches and the sun comes out and the ladies emerge from their caves and go out for a jog on that first day you could go outside without a jacket. It carbonates the hormones. It makes a fifty-year-old feel fifteen again. I’m telling you–it’s what we lived for. Ask anyone. They’ll tell you.

And now that’s all turned on its head. Spring is when Zack comes back from the dead for the second time. Just when we want to go out and play.

I wonder if this goes on for much longer and if there are any more biologists if one day they’ll call rename it Spring Affective Disorder: the depression that results from knowing that the zombies will be waking up again soon, that the weather will be getting warmer, that the sun will soon stay out longer. The depression that results from Zombie stench overwhelming the new smell of musty grass with their moans louder than the calls of blue jays. The depression of knowing that you can’t take your girl out to watch the submarine races anymore because a gorram zombie is far more likely to pop out of the river than a submarine ever would have.

If so, you heard it here first. Just remember that.

I’ve got it bad.

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