Spring Fever

Spring Fever

            “It’s not just about the sex,” says the little angel sitting on my shoulder. The little devil on the other shoulder (surprise) disagrees. “Yes it is. It’s all about sex, one way or another.”

            “Spring fever is about renewal, about energy, about creativity and an intuitive understanding of harmony in the universe.”

            The devil lights a cigarette. “You are such a New Age fruitcake.”

            They’ve been with me for a few weeks now. This is how the bickering usually ends- the angel responds to an insult by indignantly puffing out his plumage and looking the other way. It’ll be quiet for a while.

            I’ve got spring fever pretty bad and they’re a peculiar side effect. I’m generally a pretty even-keeled guy, a natural-born moderate. The radical views of miniature apparitions wouldn’t normally hold any value for me. But in the throes of spring fever, no idea is too stupid, no impulse ignored.

            Spring fever, biologically speaking, is caused by days getting longer. The light causes the pineal gland to produce less melatonin (the “sleep hormone”). The parking brake of the mind is released, and people suddenly feel like gardening and playing sports and putting up yard sale signs that they’ll fail to take down again.

            I have trouble concentrating. If you told me a long story recently, I’m sorry- I only caught half of it. And it’s difficult to make decisions. This must be why the devil and angel appeared- to help lay out the arguments. But on some subjects, they tend to agree.

Devil: “Psst, check out the redhead at the register.”
Angel: “Holy wings of desire!”
Devil: “Hey baby, wanna swing with the good, the bad and the ugly?”

            Spring awakens that which the birds and the bees are famous for. Spring is even better than closing time when it comes to making people look good, and it can seem more than ever like sex will solve everything. But it’s a trick. Relief is fleeting. Spring fever is the itch that cannot be scratched.

            Of course, that’s no reason not to try. Take the lab rat that starved to death by ignoring the food dispenser in favor of the switch that fired up the little orgasm center electrode installed in his brain. It’s not like he complained. It probably made for an interesting story up in rat heaven.

            But being suave and sexy with spring fever is problematic. Partnered people often seem unrecognizable to their mates (“Honestly, Harold, can’t you at least say hello first?”) and unattached people who used to be silver-tongued players are now laughing at odd moments and showing everyone at the bar their scars. Their best hope is to find someone else with spring fever. Their mating will look like something on Animal Planet.

            I can tell you I’ve got a crush on everybody (especially you). But my biggest problem is a head filled with the kinds of “great ideas” that normally require a great deal of alcohol to think up. Ideas that draw blank stares from friends. It’s so lonely. Spring fever makes people impulsive, and I have to force myself to wait ten minutes to see if it’s still a good idea. Good thing, too.

            I want a tattoo. And I want to do it myself. This idea has persisted past the ten-minute mark. I’ve already researched how to make a jailhouse tattoo gun out of an electric shaver, a disposable pen, and a guitar string. All I need is a design. Oh look, my mini apparitions are striking poses, auditioning. The devil is hanging on a cross. The angel is taking off his shirt… Oh, it looks like I should say her shirt, and… And… Oh I’m not well.

             Like anyone feeling crazy and misunderstood, I tried to seek out others with the same problem so I’d feel normal. It wasn’t easy. Most people didn’t know what I meant by “spring fever.” They thought it had something to do with a department store sale.

            I finally found some fellow sufferers scattered along the beach, hypnotized by the waves and not knowing whether to cheer at the dramatic genius of the sea or cry about how terribly alone we all are. I tried to put together a support group, but it’s hopeless to expect a bunch of spring fever types to attend meetings. They’re always sidetracked with cleaning projects, or they have to work late because they flirted with coworkers all day and didn’t get anything done.

            As for the people who claim no effects from spring, at first I thought that maybe they had vanilla lives. But maybe their inner world is already so emotionally complex that to them spring fever would just be a fart in a windstorm. I’ve always wondered how full time artists and entrepreneurs did it—maybe they’re like this all the time. 

            But I’m not used to being jerked around by my own hormones. Yesterday I felt a pebble in my shoe, and instead of taking it out I got a strange thrill out of pushing my toe into it, hard. What the hell is that? And when will it end?

            Stage direction: DEVIL looks at Sven, shrugs, and drops his cigarette on Sven’s shoulder before crushing it out with his boot. ANGEL sits and lazily contemplates his fingernails. BLACKOUT.