ESF — Poet T.S. Eliot called April the cruelest month. He evidently never endured a nice Friday afternoon in March.
I have a fever, but I'm not sick. My face isn't flush. There is no profuse sweating or shaking. However, I'm suffering.
It doesn't take a medical degree to reach a diagnosis: classicearly spring fever.
This is not the first time I've dealt with this debilitating disease. Since childhood I've struggled with ESF. I seem biologically predisposed to goof off when the weather warms.
ESF is an attention disorder. I go from mindful to mindless when the outside temperature crests above 60 degrees. A few rays of spring sunshine and my cognitive skills are fried.
It's hard to focus during a bout of ESF. Your mind does more than wander. It cavorts. It frolics. It runs willy-nilly. My normally dutiful conscience halfheartedly chases down racing thoughts.
To a kid, school can feel like prison. A sunny spring day locked up in a classroom is hard time. Outside recess is the one reprieve — although some kids do solitary confinement in the principal's office.
At least nobody tries to shank you like outside recess at the Big House. You just have to watch out for bullies, dodgeballs and kissy-face girls.
My school grades fell as the spring temperatures rose. Frankly, I could care less if train A, traveling at 25 mph, and train B, traveling at 15 mph, ever encountered each other. The math story-problem railroad was not my ticket to fourth-grade freedom.
Stuck in class, my inattentive ears would sneak out with my wandering mind. Together they would play touch football, and jump off swings and into mud puddles. I stared forlorn out the window. If only I could join the rest of me outside.
My inner child still begs me to come out and play on nice March days. I ignore the little voice and diligently pretend to be an adult. It's not easy. After all, who wouldn't trade monkey bars for office meetings?
A beautiful March day can be cruel. It can be especially painful when you're trapped inside with a fever that rises with the outside heat index.
The calendar says tomorrow is officially spring. We can walk a little lighter — no snow boots helps. We can drive with our car windows down to air out the stale smells of fast-food burgers and winter.
Spring is here: the season of eternal hope and inside curveballs.
Perhaps an ESF sick day is in order. The next sunny day, I'll jump train A out of here with my wandering mind, inattentive ears and inner child.
Garret Leiva can be reached at email@example.com.