Wednesday, January 23, 2013


With the exception of about 45 minutes two weeks ago, we've been living life trapped under a perpetual inversion. I'd heard of this thing called "inversion" even before we moved here. The natives told us. And by natives I mean the people who had lived here longer than a season. It didn't matter that they explained it, I had no idea what they were talking about. In fact, for the entire first winter that we lived here, I couldn't understand it.

I looked outside and saw foggy, smoggy air and thought it was overcast. A wayward marine layer. A Salt Lake layer. I'm still not entirely sure that I understand the phenomenon. Something about ICKYNESS getting caught between the Wasatch and the Oquirrhs and blocking fresh air FOREVER. (Or, at the very least, what seems like forever.) Then, a storm will blow in and blow the ICKYNESS out. So, while those last few sentences imply that I still have no idea what an "inversion" actually is, after five years of living here, I totally know how to recognize one.

When you feel like you're chewing your air--INVERSION.

When you look up and the sky is two feet above your head--INVERSION.

When you look out your window and can't see a mountain range on either side because they are blocked by a thick layer of ICKYNESS--INVERSION!

When you can feel chunks swimming around in your lungs after you inhale--INVERSION.

When the world you're walking around in is freezing cold because the frigid temperatures are trapped between the barriers of the mountains and the ceiling of ICKYNESS--INVERSION.

I don't know anyone who likes them. I've never heard a person say, "Hey, isn't this inversion just totally awesome. I wish it would hang around for another three weeks straight. I'm thrilled that I can't see the sun because, golly, SUNSHINE! What a drag."

For someone with self diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder, I go absolutely asylum bound crazy when I don't see the sun for a handful of days. So I'm about ready to rally a team of individuals who will pull the inversion out of this valley using nothing but a little elbow grease and sheer will.

Instead, I think we'll all just hop on a plane tomorrow and head for San Diego. Because I never heard the word "inversion" when I lived there. Although, in truth, the tickets were purchased long before the weather went to Hades.

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