June 15, 2000
Melting the Record

 


 
According to the local TV weather puppets, yesterday was the hottest day on record  --  ever  --  here in the Bay Area.

Mind you: not just the hottest day so far this year, or the hottest June 14th since 1981 or 1992 or 1997, or the hottest day since the air conditioning tragically broke down in the Subaru ...

... but the hottest day on record.

EVER.

(One might go so far as to say that this record wasn't merely broken yesterday ... it was MELTED, as thoroughly and as irrevocably as a borrowed Smokey Robinson & The Miracles "Tears of a Clown" 45 rpm accidentally left sitting on top of a Clairol Electric Hairsetter overnight. But that's probably another story for another day.)

I was fine all day yesterday. I didn't even realize how hot it WAS, outside. I had a vague awareness that it was probably a teeny-tiny bit warmer than usual  ...  the beet-red UPS Guy collapsing in the lunchroom was a *clue*  ...  but basically I was oblivious, sequestered comfortably here inside the air-conditioned offices of the Totem Pole Company. I had my little portable Duracraft pointed directly at the back of my neck all day, and my ice-cold bottle of Calistoga, and my orange slices, and my nice sunny view of the Tribune Tower ten blocks away. I was comfy. Franz is safely out of town all week. I'm going on vacation in a couple of days.

Life was cool.

It wasn't until David came to pick me up, after work, that I came face-to-face with 106 degrees of reality.

I walked out of the building ... and walked INTO an oppressive wall of heat. For a few seconds I forgot how to breathe.

The only other time in my life I can remember experiencing this sensation -- walking into a solid wall of heat, so tangible it feels as though you are parting a curtain of *heat molecules* as you move through it -- was in the Caribbean, a few years back. For ten days I practically lived in the hotel room, parked in front of an ancient rickety air conditioner, drinking salty Pepsi and praying for snow.

The worst part about all of this?   --  aside from the increased fire hazard, and the power outages, and the traffic problems, and the elderly people dropping dead from heat exhaustion, I mean?  --  is that this stoopid heatwave is making it impossible to properly prepare for the TicTac trip.  Last night was supposed to have been a laundry night, and a picking-up-the-dry-cleaning night, and a packing-the-suitcase night. We should have stopped at Long's Drugs for film and nail polish remover. David should have finished repairing my broken glasses. I should have looked for the missing modem plug for the laptop.

We should be three-fourths of the way to *Total Vacation Preparedness* by now.

Instead, we wound going to the nearest air-conditioned restaurant for dinner, followed by a prolonged visit to the neighborhood ice cream parlor. When we got home, I forced myself to sit in a cool bathtub for eleven minutes and forty seconds. Afterwards, the two of us spent the rest of the evening stretched across the bed, nude and gasping.

("We need more heatwaves," David commented dryly. At least one of us found the situation arousing.)

It was almost midnight before we fell asleep ... and even so, it was one of those sweaty, torturous nights, punctuated by bizarre dreams, and an inordinate amount of restless-neighbor thumping and bumping, and street noises from the open window above the bed, and lots of tossing and turning and pillow-manipulation and middle-of-the-night trips to the kitchen for water ...

... and not a whole lot in the way of actual *sleep.*

Today I feel as limp and wrung-out as Celine Dion's makeup sponge ... AND I still have all of the packing and preparation to do for the trip. Plus I have another two days of work-work to get through. (We're talking Hell On Earth Time, too. Franz is finally beginning to *get* the fact that I'm going to be gone next week, and he's already devising ways to punish me in advance.)  Plus it's not supposed to be whole lots cooler today than it was yesterday.

All I can say is ... thank god for TicTac. Cool, drizzly, gray, overcast, lovely, wet TicTac.

I can already smell the soft tacos ... and the mud puddles.


"umm ... mom?" says daughter #1.
"i don't know how to break this to you ...
... but we're supposed to have a record-breaking heatwave here in tictac, over the weekend."


twelve years ago

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