I always assumed I would have an arch nemesis someday. My personality kind of demands it. Obviously it would be someone who was cool and awesome, someone worthy of battling a badass antihero with a heart of gold such as myself. But also clearly someone with less wit and less awesome hair.
Imagine my surprise, then, when my arch nemesis turned out to be the sun.
Oh yeah. Let’s talk about polymorphic light eruption, kids. First, of course, by discussing what polymorphic light eruption sounds like:
A mildly successful electro pop duo.
A phrase shouted out by the Power Rangers.
Part of a convoluted plot in a sci-fi novel.
How forest fires on distant planets start.
What pretentious yet smart people call volcanic activity.
A cool space thing NASA discovered that you hear at the end of the morning news segment.
A horrifying space thing NASA discovered that you hear at the beginning of the morning news segment.
Now let’s discuss what polymorphic light eruption actually is:
Stupid people who develop a stupid allergy to the stupid sun out of nowhere.
It started last spring. I thought it was a fluke but then it happened again this year. It normally appears on the chest or the arms but I am one of the super lucky rare ones where I get the rash on my face. You know “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”? The scene where they open the ark of the covenant and it melts that Nazi’s face off? I’m like that dude three seconds into the scene but without the relief of my face ever actually melting off. Or of the sweet, sweet release of eventual death. I just have to sit here with my giant face rash, all red and itchy and poofy and on fire, and continue to act like a human. The good news is that after the rash goes away, which it only does if I avoid the sun for two weeks, it will likely come roaring back whenever I am exposed to the sun again. The even better news is that this will now likely happen every spring and summer until I die.
There aren’t charity runs for this skin disease. Probably because it’s mild and none of us who have it can be outside in the sun that long anymore. There is no cure and not much in the way of treatment. Probably because the universe is cruel and unfair and dumb and stupid.
It just really, really sucks and makes summer suck. Especially this summer. The summer of 2020, which was going SO WELL ANYWAY.
I love two things (besides my children and husband and fried cheese and blah, blah, blah). Those two things are running and going to the beach. Two things that are all the more important during this crap show of a year, since they are two things I can do outside and, as long as I avoid popular spots, without many people around. They are also, of course, two things that make it almost impossible to avoid the sun.
So, at this point, all I have left to say is, nice try, sun. And nice try, 2020. But you will not defeat me.
Oh no. No matter how many murder hornets, chicken sandwich wars, global pandemics, quarantines, racists, bigots, homophobics, sexists, economy crashes, vaccine conspiracy theories, entire continents burning, World War III threats, armed protesters demanding haircuts, actual alien footage, “Tiger King” documentaries you throw out. And no matter how much you turn my personal life into that level in Super Mario Bros. 3 where the angry cartoon sun is literally trying to kill you.
You. Will. Not. Defeat. Me.
And do you know why? Because humans are nothing if not adaptable. That is what we do best, in fact. That is why we are survivors.
So I will sit inside with my volcano face and I will keep writing and I will do my daily run at 4 a.m. to avoid the stupid murderous sun. And I will go to the beach. You hear me? I’m going to the beach and I will dress like Morticia Addams and I will totally pull the look off. And I’m going to snag bits and pieces of happiness whenever possible. I’m going to love what I should love more and ignore what I should ignore more and speak up against what is wrong more and support those who need my support right now.
Because I will not be defeated this year. Eight months into this horrific dystopian future and I now eat disappointment and threats of World War III for breakfast.
Better luck next year.