Monday, June 14, 2010


okra on the porch
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
Summer is indubitably here and I don't like it. I have sweat running down my face; I have to keep my hair up and I'm afraid to wash the dishes because that would require hot water. Last night I woke up over and over again with an inexplicable stuffed nose and my hair soaking wet and all in all, I am feeling extremely sorry for myself. Look, I am a woman of a certain age, which means that my core temperature has been hovering, lately, somewhere around the same mean level as the surface of the sun. Added heat, therefore, is a problem and is probably why I was shrieking and throwing dishes and shoes around this morning although, honestly, that's a perfectly sane and reasonable response to a stubbed toe. Right?

We do not have AC. We do have a cheap and terrible window unit that is lying around in the garage somewhere but even if I wasn't afraid of the killer attack garage mice and the hypothetical, just barely possible, killer attack garage snakes (Audrey claimed out of the blue the other night that snakes love garages. It would explain why the mousetraps have not been sprung. Eeee!) and, hell, why stop there, the killer attack garage gnomes of death, I wouldn't put the AC in a window. You see, each window in this house takes two people, a hammer and an alarming amount of foul language to open or close. That is why they get opened in the spring and closed in the fall and since even I have grasped the fact that running a window AC unit in a room full of open windows accomplishes nothing much else than further destruction of the environment, ozone and, I don't know, happy kittens frolicking on doomed green lawns, I'm not going to do it. So we suffer.

The house has a whole house fan which works miracles when it actually gets cool at night. Asheville should get cool at night. It used to get cool at night, goddamnit, when I was just a young and thoughtless slip of a thing but now the incredible weight of cool that came with all the hipsters has heated up the mountains and we're trapped in a sauna. High eighties and not dropping much below seventy at night is not cutting it: when it doesn't cool off enough in the evening, the whole house fan tries, but it can't really do its job.

It could be worse, I know. I used to live in Charleston, long ago, where even the whole wee slip of a thing who was me, staggering drunkenly from the Fulton House to ACs and back again, bitched more or less continuously about the heat. I also used to live in Baltimore, which is just as bad as Charleston - Baltimore pretty much has the worst of all possible weather patterns, always. I have never forgotten the time I was driving down the JFX with my friend Noelle, coming home from a party in Hampden when the radio said "It's 1:33 am and 104 degrees in downtown!" Actually I have often thought that would make a great beginning for a horror movie and it kind of is, because that sort of heat makes many of the scarier people of East Baltimore, the ones who ordinarily don't often leave their basements, come out. As my then small son said, one blazing day driving down East Pratt Street and looking in shock at a very, very large man on his stoop, "Look! It's a . . it's a NUDIST!" And it might have been. One couldn't tell. So all in all, I know, I'm lucky and it will cool down here again for at least a little while before the summer ends.

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