Something Cool

Finally, I understand what has kept me in a state of perpetual sloth for most of the summer.  The reason I can hardly pick my lingerie up off the floor, and the cause of sitting for hours staring listlessly at the computer screen, and the bane of my miserable existence is that it is too damned hot.

Yes, my dear friend the baker works all night in a stuffy old brick building with no air conditioning. Yes, they’ve gone without air conditioning in New Delhi for three days. And yes, it’s hotter than this in dozens of places around the world. Those people have my complete and utter sympathy.

Children play in fountains. Old ladies fan themselves in the shade of the front porch. I lie in the cool water of the bathtub, contemplating drowning. The heat bears down like some ungodly hand, stealing my breath and frizzing my hair. Popsicles only help for as long as they last, and that’s not as long as they used to. At night, there is respite from a little GE air-conditioner humming along in the bedroom window. Except for those times that my husband, dear man, turns it to “Energy Saver” and I wake up panting.

And then came Pinguino, my little Italian Penguin. He sits in the dining room, under the bay window and he fills the house with cool, delicious air. He breathes life into the kitchen, he breathes joy into my heart, he breathes hope into this dark and stuffy house.

Yesterday, on an impulse, we bought him, a 12000 btu portable air-conditioner, tethered to a window by his vent hose. The online reviews made the decision impossible– people either despise Monsieur Manchot or they adore him. Five stars from some, one star from others; nothing in between. The one-star review complain of leaking. I wouldn’t like it to leak, I’m hoping we lucked out from leaking.

But today, it’s made all the difference. I feel cheerful. I feel encouraged. Those tasks that seemed so onerous now seem like no big deal. The great cloak I wore on my shoulders has been lifted, and I am free to once again put my life in order.

I’m re-inventing the wheel, but I’m not sure quite how yet, so please stay tuned for updates. In the meantime: Breakfast: maple Brown cow yogurt with granola, two hard-boiled eggs. Lunch: half a cup of cottage cheese, Ghirardelli chocolate square Dinner: Jodhpur lentils with cottage cheese, piece of Naan bread, a Jaffa cake cookie.

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