Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Cruel Torment of Unattainable Beauty

Yesterday was an utterly glorious day, which put me in a truly foul mood.

I’m not usually a contrarian when it comes to weather. Part of the motivation for escaping Northern Town was its perpetual cloudiness. Although I like the song, “I’m Only Happy When it Rains” doesn’t usually describe me.

But when you’re stuck in the office all day, in a suit and tie, and it’s a slow day, and it’s the first obscenely beautiful day of the year outside, well, that’s just cruel.

I found myself constructing excuses to run errands across campus. It was the kind of day that provokes even the better students to ask if they can have class outside. The kind of day that makes administrators, who have to keep at least 9-5 hours (usually longer) particularly crabby at faculty. The kind of day when normally-conscientious faculty who have made appointments with you call to cancel, citing mysterious, sudden-onset colds.

To make matters worse, the tv in the student center (one of my contrived errands) was tuned to the Washington Nationals’ home opener. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon! On a slow day! That’s just adding insult to injury.

The closest parallel – some of you may know how this works – is when you’re 17, and hopelessly smitten with a pretty young thing, and you’re sharing a tender moment, and you’re screwing up your courage to make your move, and she says you’re like her brother.

Not that I would know anything about that.

By June or so, the torment isn’t as great because the beautiful days aren’t as rare. The pain of missing one is dulled by the reasonable certainty that another one will follow, and another. But the first one really hurts.

I wonder if I could move my desk outside…