‘Sounds like SAD’ said the doctor with a smirk, ‘but that would be ridiculous’ and then he hustled me out the door with a prescription for branded drugs. But now I sit in front of industrial strength blinds, dreaming of long Swedish nights. I have SAD, but not for the winter. I am a summer SAD. And it’s not just the heat, and the light, and the moisture that collects on the back of bus seats and sticks to your trousers. No. It’s the organised trips to the lido. The expectations of a picnic, every weekend. All the pimms. The slow reveal of flesh, phallic ice cream choices and increased public fondling. Mum and dad, I confess, I faked my way through the long dusky evenings of my childhood, that yelp of glee as we jumped into the ravine was actually despair. I didn’t want to sit inside the villa and skip the bicycle rides because I was just going through a phase. Or because I was just really into books. I was longing for the shadows. Give me icicles, crunch of snow underfoot, ice skating and falling down in public. Catching yourself if your reflexes are better and proudly declaring ‘did you see that? I almost fell’ Hot chocolates and red fingers, constricted arteries and heating I can’t afford. I only date in the winter. I only go out when I can layer, cover my pale flesh in oversized exotic jumpers. ‘Oh, I was just going through a phase.’ I say when friends ask where I have been, ‘and I am just really into books,” I murmur, hoping they will buy it, because the truth is mockable. The lies are forgotten as soon as I come alive, buying a round of schnapps.