Saturday, June 1, 2013


As the weather has grown warmer in The City, I find that a change has come over me in my years living here.  Time was, when I lived in the strong and kindly sunlight of the American South, such temperatures as have been seen in The City these past few days did not disturb me.  If I stood in the sun (and I spent many hours doing that very thing), I would sweat, of course, but it would not flow from me in runnels down the divot of my spine or the backs of my legs.  It would form instead a sheen on my skin, leaving me glistening in the light to the eyes of those few who would bother to look at me.

Now, though, at a bare brush of light I begin to burn and I pump out perspiration in plenitude.  And I feel it most on my upper lip; I swear that I sweat more from under my moustache than any other similarly-sized part of my body.  I do not understand why.  Other places on me are more thickly haired, and some of them are swathed under layers of cloth even in the hottest days.  Yet I notice more the sweat of my upper lip than of my brow, my back, or most any other part of me.

The problem is compounded by the relative lack of air conditioning in The City.  This place depends on window units for the most part, leading me to wonder if there is some kind of arcane agreement between The City's builders and the companies that make such things.  While I well understand that retrofitting some of the older buildings for central air would be prohibitively expensive and ridiculously complicated, new construction here all too often eschews central ventilation, continuing instead to deploy window units and radiators.  Why they would do so when other systems are so much better, I do not know.

In any event, I find that I must fall back on some of the older ways of doing things, ways which work well enough (if not so well as actually having decent ventilation systems!).  I minimize light so as to minimize the perception of heat in the mind (brighter often translating to hotter), I stay in the shade as I can, I wear a hat when I am out and it is remotely appropriate to do so, and I make a point of staying hydrated.  The last has the unfortunate effect of sending me to the toilet more often than is usual for me, but given the least bathrooms are often cool.

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