Nathan Macintosh

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January. Worst month of the year.

People might disagree with this. People might say it's February. People might say it's November. Maybe you hate Christmas and Hanukkah to such a degree that you hate December. Maybe you just can't stand goodbyes.
"Nooo! I was loving this year. Why does it have to end? Can't we just hold off for a bit? Can we take a poll and see what others think? Let's keep this year going! I don't want you, January! I'm going to count up during the countdown. Keep this year going!"
January, though, is the worst month of the year. Here are some reasons why that is so.

It's the first month of the year, which really just makes it the year's Monday. It's a Monday as well that starts on a cold, snowy day. Not all Mondays are cold. But on some, you have to warm up the car, you don't want to get out of bed, it's dark when you go to work and it's dark when you get home.
"Just woke up and it's dark as hell. I probably have some time before I have to get up. It's gotta be about four in the morning. Seven thirty! What?! I'm late! Ahhh, it's freezing out there! Everything here feels bad!"
Those Mondays are awful. And that's January. January is one straight month of that day. It's a thirty-one day Monday.

Another reason it's the worst month? There is nothing in it at all to look forward to. Nothing. November? Not too much in itself, but it means Holidays are coming. December? Christmas and New Year's. February? It's cold, yes, but it's not that long. Plus, March is around the corner and that's when things start to be good again. January? Nothing. January is cold, dark, sucks and leads right into another bad month. It is garbage followed by garbage! January is an episode of Yes, Dear that leads into Two and a Half Men.
"What's on tonight?"
"Yes, Dear followed by Two and a Half Men."
"Wooooo. I really don't think I can deal with that without getting some vitamin D. Want to shut it off until September?"

It's a month that almost forces you to take naps, and then changes its look entirely when you do so. January puts you to bed at 3pm, and you wake up an hour later, it looks like it's a completely new year.
"What the hell? I went to sleep when the sun was up and now it looks like Skynet has become self aware out there. Where's John Connor? Am I too late? Am I a member of the resistance? I'll be back, bed. I have to figure this out!"

Usually, January starts on a hangover. It starts that way! It starts after the last year's big party. The first glimpse you have of January is with a pounding headache, the taste of cigarettes in your mouth and a craving for a McGriddle and ice cream.
"Oh, man. Happy New Year, huh? Let's do it, January! I'm starting this one off right. I can't find my shoes, I dropped my phone in a toilet and I don't think I left my keys in a cab, I'm pretty sure the driver stole them. Just took them! What is he going to do with my keys?"
January starts after a night that is always over-hyped – New Year's Eve. It is never as great as people say it's going to be. Lines are crazy long. It's expensive to get into places that then have no room for you to be in anyway. Drinks are watered down. Girls are crying all over the place. Men are fighting for no reason. People try to dress as if it's hotter than it is. Places have DJs who think they are more important than the countdown.
"Hey, when is the countdown?"
"Oh, that happened. We didn't do it, though; because I had to say "DJ Bag of Shit is in the building" over a Madonna mash up thirteen times. Happy New Year."
The first two hours into January is usually when people start to realize that the night that was supposed to be amazing is an expensive bust, and now, even though the only thing they want to do is get home, they can't get a cab.
"Hi, can I get a cab to..."
"Hahaha. Are you serious? A cab? What, you don't think it's the busiest cab night of the year? I was picking up the phone to take it off the hook! Good luck with that."

I have never been in a warm place for January. Absolutely terrible. Twenty seven Januarys in my life, all of them frigid. There has to be places in the world where January doesn't matter. Brazil? I'm sure that January in Brazil is pretty sweet. I would love to be there for January. I'm sure people who live in warm places never hope that they could live in a cold place for January.
"January. Man, I hate this month."
"Yeah. Still hot, and STILL women walking around in thongs. Can we get something a little different? Would it kill anyone if it was cold around here for a bit?"
"I'd love to see a woman in a sweater. Just once. Never happens."
"I hear you, man... Do you find it weird that we speak English to each other and not Portuguese?"
"I was just about to ask you the same thing."
I would love to see a January that is not like living in a meat freezer with a busted light.

That's another thing. There's no sun in January. The sun is out for about four hours a day. Worst thing is – it's only out on the coldest days. The over cast, dark-as-hell days are usually the warmest.
"Whoa! Look at that sun! It's probably great out there. Let's just check the weather. Huh. That's weird. They usually have a temperature posted. All this says is 'The Sun's a Liar'. That's a strange forecast."
You get sunlight for just about no time at all. January feels the way that being kidnapped probably feels. You're walking along in the sun, and all of sudden, darkness.
"This is a pretty nice day. I'm having a go... Hey! What are you doing!? Put me down!"
"Get in that trunk! You're coming with us!" (<Slams trunk closed>)
"...Hey! What's going on!? I can't see anything in here! Well, I can't let this darkness stop me. I have stuff to do. I was on my way home to start this novel I've been putting off. Hard to do in the dark, but it'll have to do. I'm still getting things done. You hear me kidnappers?! I'M STILL GETTING THINGS DONE!"

I am willing to bet that no feel-good movies or songs are written in January. Think Good Burger was written in January? Probably not. This is the month where the Requiem For A Dreams, the Schindlers Lists and the He Stopped Loving Her Todays are written.
"I feel like writing a nice, fun song. I'll look outside for some inspiration. Hmmm. Looks like the Grim Reaper's dick out there. This doesn't make me think of anything positive. This reminds of the time I saw that dog get hit by a rogue hot pretzel cart. All right, well this isn't going to be a song they can play at the beach."
There's no way that there are artists in the North West Territories or Antarctica who come up with any sunny, positive stuff. No way. I bet every piece of writing is about or to the sun.
"Thanks for coming, everyone. This is a poem entitled 'Sun, You Rhyme with Gun, Which I Could Use to End This Whole Damn Thing'. Dear Sun. Please come back. It has been dark for eight months. Eight months, sir Sun. Could you even kinda understand what that would be like? Okay, look. If you're not going to come back, could you send a U-Haul to this desolate wasteland? Please, Sun! I can't live like this anymore. Yesterday I brushed my teeth with a fork. You get delirious when you don't get vitamin D! My gums are cut to hell! Please, Sun! Please!"
(<Light Applause>)
"It doesn't really rhyme, but I FEEL him."

Another reason it is terrible? It has the most depressing day of the year in it. The third Monday of January is regarded as the most depressing day of the year. It actually has the highest suicide rate of any other day of the year. Did you read that?! The highest suicide rate! That's the big holiday to look forward to in January. Highest suicide rate day.
"Did you get your wife anything for the most depressing day of the year?"
"It's being delivered Monday. It's about two hundred and forty pounds and will be hanging by a Monster Cable cord from a beam in the garage."
"Ooooo. Sounds expensive."
"Not really. It had a lot of potential in high school, but now it's worth about thirty-five grand a year. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of goodbyes to write."

Twitter @nathanmacintosh
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