Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hot Mess

It’s extremely hot today. (How hot IS it?) It’s so hot that my car melted down to its basic elements and then the aluminum seeped into the ground and poisoned all the mice who thought it was water. It was crazy.

We don’t have air conditioning in our house. One of the pitfalls of living in an old house is the common lack of central air. I lived in an air conditionerless house from ages 1-18. On really hot nights, my brothers, sisters and I would go sleep down in the basement for a little relief. We had huge commercial-size fans that we’d point directly at our heads and drift off to sleep in a hot flash haze. It was like sleeping in pea soup sometimes.

I cannot function well when I’m hot. I get really cranky and frustrated. I get anxious and panicky and I can‘t stop moving around. When I get in a hot car, my lungs pretty much shut down, and I gasp “I can’t breathe…I can’t breathe!” until some air movement revives me. It’s like Heat Anxiety. I dread getting my hair cut, because no matter where I go, the stylist will always shoot the hot air of a hair dryer directly in my face, and I’ll hold my breath until it’s done. Sometimes they do it for a long time, and I truly fear that I will pass out.

So today, I had to leave the sweet comfort of my office building and brave the disgusting weather to get some lunch. I walked outside and it was like someone punched me in the face and then covered me in mayonnaise. It was horribly hot, humid, and there was no wind to relieve me. I alternated between struggling to breathe and just holding my breath. I was angry at everyone I walked by who didn’t look as hot as me. And the people who were running down Nicollet Mall? I wanted to trip them. Who works out in this madness?! Not me, that’s for sure.

I’ve never met anyone with this same affliction. This allergy to heat. When the air around me is hot and thick, something in my brain overheats and major body functions (like, oh, breathing) cease to cooperate.

I wonder if this is an actual disorder. I wonder if there’s a picture in the Mayo Clinic Health Bible of a girl standing outside wearing pants and a t-shirt, and it would show an x-ray of her chest and all the muscles and bones have collapsed inside of her. Next to her, there’d be a little clipart image of a sweating thermometer eating a popsicle, and bursting at the 100+ degree weather. And that girl would be me. And the disorder would be called Heatus Explosivitis.

I would host a fundraiser to provide all of the people suffering from H.E. with a personal igloo. I’d ask you to donate money. By donating just 30 cents a day, you could save a woman like me from living a life of struggle and despair.

I think I’ve entered into a heat-induced delirium. This is all starting to sound pretty good. Alright, stay cool guys!

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