April 27, 2004

hot today

Hot today. One hundred degrees in the shade. Hot yesterday too. Ninety seven degrees at four p.m. Yo, Weather God! Itís APRIL! Get your hand off that dial! Turn the heat down! Man. You must be new at the job. Read the directions! Weíre not supposed to bake till July. Sometimes even August. Septemberís bad, usually. But not April! Get a clue!

Hot today. The kind of heat that seeps into your bones and makes it impossible to move. The kind that saps the water from your body and makes it hard to swallow even though you just drank a tall glass of ice water. The kind that weighs you down, makes you old, makes you melt.

Hot today. Pulling into the driveway, shutting off the car. Car interior turns warm in seconds. Getting out of the car enveloped by heat, like stepping into mid-summer misery. On into the house, cool a few hours ago but now swirling with hot molecules, the air infested with heat like a virus. Contagious. Invasive. It attacks your body first, then your mind. Or maybe itís the other way around, Iím too hot to care.

Hot today. So hot. Our bedroom windows are wide open, sucking in whatever bits of cool night we can grab from outside. Also sucking in the sounds of neighbors hacking up phlegm, of phones ringing, of footsteps on the walkway. We live amidst apartment buildings, Iím sure Iíve said this before. On a night like this, I canít escape that. Itís like living in the apartment complex itself, but not by choice. But itís either that or bake to a crisp, or is that a crumble? Four and twenty Damians baked in a pie. We canít put in window a/c units, not in these windows. So weíre stuck with fans and noise and heat.

Hot today. And now we know with certainty that the money weíre foolishly about to spend on central air (theyíre coming Monday! Itíll be done by Wednesday!) is wise money. Is peace of mind, of heart, of soul money. Itís our way of saying yes, we live here. In this house, with all its virtues and oh yes, all its faults. We may be here for a while. Maybe a long while, given the insanity of the local housing market. We therefore need to own where we are. Just as we pay the mortgage every month and that lays claim to the property, so in this too we lay claim. We change our environment, we give ourselves peace and closed windows on hot nights and cool air that allows us to think, to act, to enjoy.

Hot today. Oh yes.

Posted by Tamar at April 27, 2004 09:43 PM

Oh, it is so not a foolish expenditure! It will be so worth it! Don't even think twice!

Allison (also hot in the Middle East...couldn't exist without air conditioning)

Posted by: allison at April 28, 2004 02:07 AM

You know, it still amazes me, all these years later, that so many houses in Los Angeles--including both of the ones I've purchased--do not have central air. I mean, come on. It's never been a cool place to live in the summer, aside from the beachfront properties. And yet, here I am, sweltering away, wondering why we still haven't managed to save up enough to do what you're about to do...Oh, I'm so, so jealous....


Posted by: Tiny Coconut at April 28, 2004 10:57 AM

Thanks, Allison! And TC, you can come enjoy our A/C any time you want... And I agree re. the lack of A/C around here. It's strangely optimistic. ("Oh this summer won't be that hot. We can do without." Ha) Though central air is so expensive it makes me gag, so I can understand people hesitating. Still, I'm gonna love it soooo much!

Posted by: Tamar at April 29, 2004 10:15 PM