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Butchering Language: An open letter to Winter

Dear Winter, 

You’re not going to break me. You will not freeze me out. As a white man, it is my sovereign, God-given right to wear shorts year-round. There is no level of cold that will make me think, “Hmm, maybe I should throw on some jeans?”

I would rather be buried alive. 

I don’t care about catching a cold. My dorm room hosts more mold than you have ever seen in your life, and I’ve been coughing up the craziest colored mucus since August. Some sniffles and a sore throat means nothing to me. Even if I did care about being cold, so what? I’ll take ibuprofen until my stomach bleeds and get sloppy drunk off of NyQuil before putting on my orange, knee-length Nike basketball shorts and walking to my 9 a.m. class.

Also, unlike the sheep who are scared of you, Winter, buying pants is something I don’t have to concern myself with. Pants are a crank industry pushed by Big Jean and you’re in bed with them. They want me to hide my rail thin, undefined and hairless calves, but I never will. My white gym socks will be pulled up to my shins, thank you very much.

Remember around Christmas, when you made it feel like 30 degrees below zero outside and felt so high, mighty and powerful over it? Yeah, it could have been colder. Unimpressive. I was worried I was going to ruin my year-round drip with a winter coat and sweatpants, but I put them on in the mirror- I just wanted to see what it would look like! But it was way too hot in there for me. I guarantee everyone who drove by me pushing my car out of the snow drift thought I was slaying in my grease stained sweat shorts and was impressed with how brave I was.

You haven’t even made me morbidly depressed this year. I used to fear you. The leaves would get picked up off the street and my body would quake at the thought of a 5 p.m. sunset. The invention of those lightbulbs that replicate sunlight changed my life; sometimes I turn on some crashing wave white noise, throw on some sunglasses and lay on the floor like I’m at the beach. My circadian rhythm is perfect. My days of being brain-numbingly sad over how cold, bleak, and empty the world feels are over. You used to be the reason I would longingly gaze out of my window with "Exit Music (For A Film)" by Radiohead playing and imagining what the world would be like without a Winter. 

You had me in a chokehold, really. I was a victim of Stockholm syndrome, romanticizing my misery and thinking about all the character growth I was undergoing in between bundled up walks to my car. 

“But Matt, you look like a middle school boy!” Do you remember how much easier life was back then? When you didn’t have to worry about tuition, your ongoing year-long dry spell or what the inside of the DMV looked like? I’m just too silly, too whimsical and romantic about life to move on. My fridge is filled with juice boxes and my cabinets are filled with enough candy to turn my blood into paste. 

I just wanted to write to you to let you know that I’m over you. We have no problems. Bother someone else with your frigid temperatures. I’ll be sitting here, in my shorts, juice box in hand and Cartoon Network on the TV waiting for my best friend, Spring, to come around. That’s a real season, filled with growth, green and t-shirts, and I can’t wait.

You’re not going to Heaven,


Matthew Butcher is a sophomore studying English at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Matthew know by tweeting him @mattpauI.

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