Last month, my life was a Taylor Swift musical. This month, it is all Tom Petty. I have stopped muttering, “Look what you made do!” Instead, I wake up in a December slog chanting, “I’m tired of myself. I am tired of this town” as I trudge to work out when it’s dark and come home from work when it’s dark. I have the end of the year blues. I could only wish someone would hold me for ransom. Then, I wouldn’t have to juggle a million projects that are all due in December.
It’s like I’m a vampire but, instead of blood, I consume Christmas cookie upon Christmas cookie. In “Refugee” when Tom Petty sings, “Tell me why you want to lay there, revel in your abandon,” I sing back “Because it is black and cold all the time. I wish I could revel in my abandon but it’s too damn tiring.” It’s cold and black outside, and my soul feels a void. I need light. I need projects that are starting, not ending. I need the sun. I need Daylight Savings Time so much that I could cry. If I cannot have those things, then I desperately need snow so I can sleep all day.
I could live in the song “American Girl.” There are waves crashing on the beach in that song. Tom Petty sings, “She couldn’t help thinkin’ that there was a little more to life somewhere else. After all it was a great big world with lots of places to run to.” Amen to that sentiment. I want to run to new place where cold does not exist. I want to run to a place where there is more to life than the monotony that is December, January, and February. When I go to work out, I keep thinking summer bodies are made in the winter. A little voice inside me whispers, “A summer body could be made in a tropical environment.” That whisper is exactly right.
I read this story about a woman, Lori Erica Ruff, that changed her identity as a teenager. Then, she traveled the country finally settling in Texas. After settling in Texas, she met a man, had a kid, divorced a man, and killed herself in her ex in-laws’ driveway. I kept reading her story thinking she wasted a huge opportunity to flee somewhere tropical. I also think she went out big, but she could have gone out big on a beach. Don’t save that shit for Texas.
So, I am going to spend December in a monotonous mud, trying to make it until spring. Maybe, by spring, I can singing, “. . . runnin’ down a dream that never would come to me.” Maybe I will have new dreams by the time April showers bring May flowers. A girl can dream while listening to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers narrate her life.