Thursday, December 01, 2005

Light my Fire

I don't care what the experts say (and they insist that there is potential damage to our circulatory and nervous systems); I love external sources of heat. I love hot baths with oil, and hotsprings and saunas and whirlpools, hot water bottles, electric blankets, bonfires, and heated leather car seats. I love tanning beds (but not often enough to actually color) and standing in front of the radiant heaters in the old plant until I feel like the skin of my face might melt like a plastic doll's. I love morning showers so hot my knees and shoulders turn blotchy red, and using the blowdryer to dry my damp gloves with my hands still in them. I love wrapping my hands around a ceramic mug full of something too hot to drink and leaning into the steam. I love wool (socks, sweaters, coat, hat, scarf), and flannel shirts and Polartec gloves. I love sticking my ice cold feet under the warm bodies of my sleeping cats (they resent me for it) and I love napping curled up to something, someone warm: man or child or dog. I love those little under-desk heaters and I love the handheld infrared beam Bill gave me to press against the knotted muscles in my lower back. I love putting clothes on straight out of the dryer. I love my down comforter, even though it crackles, and I love the small velour bag full of dry rice that I put in the microwave every night and then transfer from frozen extremity to frozen extremity until I fall asleep. I love any place drenched in sunlight: backseats of cars with dark upholstery, a wide black trampoline in a green backyard, hammocks stretched between trees, gabled dormers (with square, solid cakes of sunshine coming in), desert sand, concrete that could fry eggs, and gooey asphalt, melting black. I love the deck of a pool under noon sun in August, sprawling on a dark towel to attract more heat to myself. Mary used to say I might bake myself. "I just don't like to be cold." I was not made for the cold.

I got carded at Kate's tonight by an overzealous girl with braces. I shook my head and said I wasn't staying. I was sick of the crowds already, and I didn't want to go home smelling like smoke. I haven't smelled cigarette smoke in my apartment for three days now, and somewhere in the house (there are six units), water has been running for three days non-stop. I haven't heard Dean's loathsome smoker's hack through the wall, either, and I have come to the conclusion that he died and left the water on. I don't have the guts to knock on his door. Besides, it would mean going outside, and I don't want to get cold.


Blogger Shepcat said...

For context, I hopped over to in the middle of your post and made note of your 22-degree wind chill factor. Brrrrr! I shall soon enough be feeling your pain.

On winter mornings when I was in grade school, I would go straight from my bed to the floor of our dining room, which boasted a furnace vent so hot you could smelt iron in it. Most days I would forgo breakfast so I could lie there fetally and steal as much heat and sleep as possible until my mom forced me to dress for school.

December 2, 2005 at 1:29 AM  
Blogger A said...

I've done exactly the same thing my whole life. But now there's nobody to shoo me away from the hot water register in my kitchen, so I have to practice some self-discipline.

You must be coming east for the holidays. My sister's in-laws lived in Kansas City for five years, and my nieces like to tell horror stories about the ice storms. They say they were colder there than they ever are here, which I have often said about San Diego, because it's wet. We have a dry cold that you can bundle up against. 22 is actually warm. Last week Jeff and Travis and I were pouring Clorox into one of our reservoirs at 4 below, and it was freezing on the aluminum screen we were pouring it through. My hands were so cold I couldn't move them. And I'd like to rethink my theory about how cold San Diego was.

December 2, 2005 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger dorothy rothschild said...

On Saturday, we went for a drive in the Hudson Valley, and we stopped off at the West Point visitors center to, ahem, use their facilities. At the gift shop, they had these little stuffed rat toys. Actually cute, which is why I picked one of them up. That and I was wondering what the hell they had to do with the otherwise almost entirely West Point themed merchandise in black and gold. They were filled with some kind of heat-holding pellets, and were microwaveable, these toy rats. To keep in your pockets for to warm your hands.

Neat-o, huh?

December 6, 2005 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger A said...

That is neat! I want one. But still, why a rat, I wonder?

December 6, 2005 at 12:15 PM  

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