Thursday, June 16, 2005

again with the temperature

One of the telltale signs of aging (other than ranting about the crap music kids listen to today as opposed to the real music from your day–a rant that sounds exactly like a mind slamming shut) is talking about the weather and/or your health. If the words polyp, watery stool, or mucus discharge start do-si-do-ing with humidity, cold fronts and low pressure troughs, you are pretty much slipping into crustiness.

So you'll understand my trepidation at bringing up my heightened temperature sensitivity again.

It is SO bloody hot here in Houston. And there's a solid three months ahead of the same. Our air conditioning window units are feeble. They cool like an emphysemic blowing at you over a block of ice. I'm convinced that if sweat didn't contain salt I'd mold right up. [If that's not a geriatric image I don't know what is.] That Houston is miserably hot in summer is not new. That our a/c units are straining to do their jobs is not exactly new either. That my internal thermostat is mutinying...well, now that's kind of new.

On the flip side, I just finished Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Yes, Stephen King. Truth be told, I started reading King out of maternal duty some 15 years ago. My, then 11-year old, son was given some Stephen King books and I was concerned that Carrie and Cujo were going to warp his pre-teen mind. I mean warp it more than is to be expected from the nature/nurture ball of wax he'd been born into.

Anyway, I loved the damn series (and felt my son's love of reading was ample trade-off for the scariness and relatively harmless vulgarity contained in King's books--and I say that like vulgarity is a bad thing). Give me a campfire, s'mores and a good storyteller...and the man knows how to tell a story.

Back to my thermostat issue. In the final book, King's characters endure a long period of cold without respite or proper supplies. His descriptions of cold are like the unformed words of my childhood. The kind of cold that makes love, thirst and hunger seem insignificant. The kind of cold that makes you fantasize about wool and down feathers trapped by quilting. The kind of cold that makes you want to weep and sleep.

I may curse the inferno that is a Houston summer but I never, ever want to live in cold country again.

Nevertheless, it's goddamn hot.

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