Cabin Fever

I think the stuffed animals are talking to me. They sit and stare, sit and stare, sit and stare while my mind crumbles. They mock me, they taunt me. In their stare I can hear their words almost as if they are screamed into my bleeding ears. "It's still cold outside." "You are trapped in the house, with us, forever." Their laughter pushes me further into cabin fever insanity.

On the outside, the place where I can't go anymore, snow is still on the ground. Not white and fluffy but the black of asphalt and crushed dreams. The whole of winter presses upon me as I count the icicles still hanging on the tree branches like little daggers. On the bad days I have considered tempting fate and walking underneath them with a Red Rider BB gun. But if I did that, who would the stuffed animals talk to?

The house has 4 walls and a ceiling in every room. Seems common sense but over the course of this very long winter I have counted them many times just to make sure. 1,2,3,4. 1,2,3,4. 1,2,3,4. I have noticed cobwebs in the higher corners of the ceiling but have not even attempted to bring them down for then the corner would be bare and I would not have anything to stare at anymore.

The kids paint daily. It's the only thing that I have left. We have done every arts and craft activity known to man. Now their little portraits of family members seem to get worse and worse with all the practice. Once we painted in bright colors; blue, red, yellow. That was at the beginning of winter. Now all the paintings look like black and white photographs that mirror our moods. I know that I am cracking up. They have already cracked. Yesterday we had a dust mite race through the hallway. I lost.

I stare at the TV, not really knowing what is on. It doesn't matter, we've seen it all. By now I can quote every line of every Dora episode. I can sing every song in Jack's Big Music Show. I know that Steve, with his dog Blue, can do anything that they want to do. We have watched every movie. We have single handily kept Red Box in business. I have seen every kids movie/kids show that they have to offer. Now my mouth forms the words of each line of each show without my knowledge. This is the low point of our winter. I just want to go outside. I just want to go outside.

Why did I leave Texas? I can't remember anymore. I can't remember anything anymore. What's my wife's name? Does she have a name and is she really my wife? Am I the gimp? Texas is in the 50's and 60's by now. The tree's are starting to get leaves again, if they ever lost them in the first place. Somewhere, a longhorn is in a field on the Texas plains. I am in the house. I am always in the house.

We have made homemade cookies. We have made cakes. We have made donuts. We have even made a coconut cream pie from scratch. There is nothing left to make. Dinners are now boxes of cereal with little funny cartoon characters on them. They are joyous and part of this nutritious breakfast. They do not cheer me up. I want to shoot the rabbit and step on the little bird with the big beak. And so help me god if I find a leprechaun with all his marshmallow stars, I will rip that little smug smile off his face and ask him what he's so god damn chipper about.

The walls are decorated with all our artwork over the last 6 months in an attempt to bring light and joy into the house. It's either really bad caveman paintings or really good abstract art. The windows are covered with hand prints and little smudges of noses where we have looked out over the last 6 months wondering if it's going to get above freezing. It never does. We should clean the windows but what's the point if the sun never shines? It left us sometime in December and only makes the occasional cameo appearance. Fucking snob.

We spend most days in our underwear. We started out good with jeans and T-shirts. Sometimes a sweatshirt and some wool socks. But after awhile, we asked ourselves why? Who the hell cares? Who's going to see us. We devolved, slowly at first then full on. The day I realized that I was wearing only long underwear did I realize how far we had really fallen. I looked at myself and realized that I looked like some crazy prospector panning for gold and wished it was some delusion, that perhaps I had lost it and entered the sweet world of oblivion. But it wasn't a delusion. It was reality and I was in it up to my button hole in the back.

I read the book of Revaluations to cheer me up. Steven King seems like a happy trollop to me. I root against Harry Potter and am in love with Delores Umbridge. I disgust myself.

I hear the word "Daddy" said. Less now than when the winter started. "Daddy, Bubba Hoss hit me." "Daddy, the dog pooped on the floor." "Daddy, put down the bottle". Now we all just try to ignore each other until spring comes. To when we can go back out into the world and adventure. Parks, museums, civil war battlefields, zoos; each an adventure into the unknown. Will the kids finger smudge a priceless painting? Will I break a chair in an historic mansion? Who will get arrested first, Little Hoss or Me? The world's biggest ball of twine is out there and calling my name.

Those are the things that keep our hope alive. Those are the things that make us leave the hand and face smudges on the windows. Just a little bit longer. Just hold on a little while longer.

But it's a long winter. And it's still so cold outside. It's still so cold.


  1. For the record here, Hossmom hates this blog. I think it worries her a little bit. Personally, I love it. I like the imagery of the handprints on the windows and the line about the Red Rider BB gun cracks me up. Hossmom doesn't like when I write the dark stuff. I tell her that I have no real control over it, what comes is what comes. Unlike Spring. That will never come.

  2. I love your blog. I think you are so funny and speak the truth. Your a great writer and I look forward to reading your daily blog entries :)
    I am so sick of the snow and crap weather as well

  3. We have hit 72 in Texas

  4. I should delete that last comment.