Tag Archives: suffering

Lame Adventure 383: Heat and Delirium

“It could be better but it’s not terrible.”

Approaching terrible.

Approaching terrible.

This recent observation by my colleague at The Grind, Godsend, about some holes we drilled through wood, could double as a single sentence summary statement about my entire life thus far. There’s always room for improvement, but if I become road kill under the wheels of a beer truck tomorrow, my 28,382,400+ minutes walking this planet have not all been entirely misspent excluding the fear, agony and humiliation I’d surely suffer were I to find myself flattened by a ten ton vehicle. Many of the nearly 16,293,600 minutes that I’ve lived in New York City have been okay, and thankfully, relatively pain-free. This excludes the emotional suffering incurred when my go-to market, Fairway, stopped carrying my all-time favorite summertime confection, chocolate dipped frozen bananas that they sold for two bucks Back In The Day. Oh, how I miss those rock hard bananas that, come to think of it, could also double as instant justice in lieu of a baseball bat. If A Mystical Being were to suddenly pop into my sacred space right now and offered me one of the following three choices:

A Mystical Being: You may resume committing your favorite consensual lewd acts to your heart’s content with Daffodil the Merciless, you may stuff yourself royally with chocolate dipped frozen bananas from Fairway for $3 each (price adjusted for inflation), or you may have your name fast tracked in the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Win $5000 for Life Sweepstakes and Pass On That Haul to Anyone of Your Choosing After You’re Dead, but here’s the fine print: the likelihood that you’ll be the actual winner is nil. What is your choice? Think this through. Choose wisely.

Hit the pause button. Mystical Beings, favorite lewd acts, frozen bananas, inane win-less contests, but back to favorite lewd acts: would I really prefer to lick a piece of frozen fruit on a stick over a willing cruel vixen? These days the sad but true answer is: yes. Where is this going, am I suffering a meltdown? Yes, I am! The mercury over here has been hovering close to 90 at midnight, and feeling closer to 100 during the day, with humid air that is thick and breeze-free. What do I think about this week-long heat wave?

Terrible.

Terrible.

Me: It is terrible and it could be better.

Exceeding terrible.

Going in the wrong direction from better.

I take no pleasure living in Hell. My energy is depleted. I now have three strategically placed fans blasting in my sweltering hovel* at all times — coincidentally inspiring me to rename my digs Fan Central Station. I rather like dry heat, but this humidity that engulfs me when I am walking two feet outside, making me leak two pints of perspiration that leave my clothes dripping wet and sticking to me like glue — not the most attractive image when clinging to runaway waist flab — has got to go. I hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it. It impacts the order of my thoughts. Fantasizing about frozen fruit my market stopped carrying a decade ago should never, ever take priority in my mind over real or imagined naked fun. This is an outrage!

Meanwhile, I am now salivating over what frozen chocolate dipped blueberries might taste like? I wonder if Trader Joe’s carries anything like that?

*For anyone new to Lame Adventures, my modest abode is in a century old Upper West Side brownstone  is not wired for air conditioning. In July and August of every year it is still 1913 in my rent stabilized garret.

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Lame Adventure 319: Baking in the Apple

It was very hot and humid all weekend, just the way I loathe it.  I don’t dare use my oven.  I’m eating so much rabbit food I’m nearing the point of scratching myself behind my ear with my foot.

Salad days.

This is the situation: I reside in an electrical inclusion brownstone that used to exclude air conditioning for all.  In recent years my building’s management began rewiring vacated apartments so that incoming tenants can have air conditioning.  They also pay obscenely higher rent than me. My sanctum sanctorum was wired in 1917 for little more than a kerosene lamp, a battery powered kazoo and public access TV stations that I never watch.  In years past, I frequently had companions I could crash with on extremely hot and humid nights.  My Current Companion has air conditioning and a roommate that is as immobile a fixture as a refrigerator so basically until September, when temperatures cool, I’m stuck suffering solo in my sweat lodge.  My Current Companion did meet me for dinner in midtown – and little else:

Current Companion (reasonable tone):  We don’t have to have sex every time we hang out you know.

Me (morbid tone):  We don’t?

Current Companion:  Sometimes it’s just nice to talk.

Me:  Talk about what, us not having sex?

One thing that was discussed was my fan situation, and I’m not referring to you, my seven loyal readers.  Shortly after I returned from my West Coast getaway, my beloved sixteen-year-old Vornado fan, which I admit had been showing signs of death for nearly a year, died.  None of my fan whispering techniques worked in my attempts to revive it.  These techniques included everything short of me doing a fan dance — shaking it gently, coaxing the blades with my steel letter opener (to avoid slicing off a digit I might need to use later) or turning the off/on button on slowly.  The hum the motor used to make was silent.  Frustrated I cried:

Me:  Please work!

My Beloved Vornado Fan:  I’m dead bitch!  I ain’t never gonna work again!  Don’t you get it?  You need to replace me!

Put that way, I went online and researched Vornado fans because I am brand loyal.  I also happen to have a backup Vornado, but it’s not an air circulator (Vornado’s preferred term for their fans) that could work the entirety of my garret.

Little workhorse Vornado fan that’s multidirectional and can blast air 65 feet.

During my research I discovered that Vornado now makes a tower fan.  When I was visiting my sister, Dovima, she had an oscillating tower fan that felt pretty good, but it was not a Vornado.  The Vornado tower fan doesn’t oscillate:

Vornado Tower Fan:  You don’t need no stinking oscillation!

The Vornado has a wide cooling zone so it blasts a constant span of airflow.  That works for me.  I did further research and I learned that my local Bed Bath and Beyond had the Vornado tower fan in stock.  It was selling for $99.99, but I created my 437th G-mail account to score a 20% off in-store coupon.  Including New York’s 8.875% sales tax the total came to $87.09.

The challenge was getting it home.  The box seemed to be taller than me, if I stood three and a half feet high but it was light, weighing around fifteen pounds.  I knew it was going to be bulky and I considered asking my companion to come uptown to help me get it home, but I knew what she would say:

Current Companion: Oh. My. God. You are so stupid! Just pay seven dollars and put it in a cab!  Promise me that you won’t carry it home yourself.  You’ll pull something or collapse.  Take a taxi!

Yet, I’d rather invest those seven shekels in a before noon movie screening at my local multiplex and then slip into another screening unnoticed since all women over forty have the invisibility gene.  I have yet to see Brave!

Realizing that it would behoove me to avoid this discussion with my companion, I didn’t seek her advice, I kept my seven clams pocketed and I decided to carry my ten-foot-tall-seeming Vornado tower fan home on a city bus.  I just made sure that all the senior citizens boarded ahead of me, but when a young woman tried to hop on before me and my tree-sized parcel, I flashed her my “not gonna happen” look and breathed a little fire.  She got the message.

Upon exiting the bus, I still had to carry my tower fan a short distance.

New Vornado tower fan resting outside my building. I am offscreen inhaling oxygen out of a tank.

Once inside my building, there was the Everest aspect of the journey, trekking up three flights of stairs without banging it constantly into the walls or against the doors of fellow tenants.

Where’s a sherpa when I need one?

If I encountered anyone annoying enough to ask me what was in my box emblazoned with pictures of the fan within, I was prepared to quote the old Woody Allen line, “Earrings.”  Fortunately, I made it into my apartment without bickering with anyone or straining anything.

New Vornado tower fan standing proudly inside my sanctum sanctorum. Offscreen, I am lying in a fetal position on the floor.

I set up my new tower fan quickly.  It has a remote control that is a nice accessory but it fails to work if you point it at yourself instead.

Warning: pointing at self will not activate tower air circulator.

Now, ten days later, as I currently bake, unlike others on the Atlantic seaboard at least I have electricity in my room full of steamy air blowing all around me.  Yet, fall and hot food and the return of hot companionship cannot come soon enough.

World class hot air circulators.