10 November 2009
SART (Seasonal Affectiveness Road Trip) Disorder
It’s one of thoses new-age illnesses that just creeps up without warning. It hits hard, but you don’t know you have it until after it has happened. IT’s SART, or Seasonal Affectiveness Road Trip Disorder. Symptoms include dreariness, expectation of gray skies, endless contrast-less pictures as a result of no sunshine, a consistent stream of churches and other monuments that look the same in what appears to be 5pm ALL THE TIME and general sarcastic cynicism. The only remedy is blue skies, sunshine and several continuous hours without rain.
You only know you’ve suffered from SART once the sun comes out and your happiness levels skyrocket. You find yourself saying things like: “Sun! Beautiful sun! Pull over so I can stand it!” Things that - on any other occasion - would sound patently absurd. But after more than 700 miles of road-tripping in snow, mud and biting cold, when those clouds break you begin to do very silly things. Everything changes with sunny weather. The music choices change from Alanis and Sarah McLachlan to Lady Gaga and The Jackson 5. The windows go down. The coats come off. It’s as if the sun has never shown before. You pull over and take pictures of it. Dozens and dozens of pictures of it to have proof that it did in fact appear. You look directly at it thinking things like “oh sunshine. You’re great. I really really like you.”
Then, without warning, the clouds return, the sunshine dissipates, Norah Jones comes on the radio, the coat go back on, the windows go up and the camera goes away. The sarcasm and lethargy recommence. “I bet it’ll snow tomorrow. Yeah, definitely. Stupid weather.” No, stupid SART.