In What's New, Writing

This week in New York, the only accepted greeting has been, “It’s disgusting out there.”  A statement of the obvious on a par with, “That sky sure is blue,” and “Man, shoes… what a great invention.”

Because, yes, it’s been somewhere in the neighborhood of armpit melt and fainting spell hot outside.

But here’s the thing: it’s also July.  I know it’s trendy to wring our hands and point to every stagnant weather pattern as either confirmation or denial of global warming.  But not every glance at the thermometer is a political act. It’s just hot.  Like… July hot.  Suck it up or move to Canada.

July in New York has always been a miserable affair.  I remember one July when I was 16 or 17, it was glittering coals hot even at night.  We lived in a tiny, rented house.  Air conditioning was for rich, white people.  It was a summer when things were at their worst with my dad and I could barely stand to be indoors with the mix of oppressive heat and overbearing father hanging in the air like a water balloon about to burst.  I slept outside in the yard on the ancient plastic lawn chairs, their snapped loops creating weird sags as I tried to rest, dreaming of escape.  THAT was a bad summer, an “uphill both ways” example of heat that really makes life miserable.

This July, by comparison, is a simple inconvenience.   From crisp central air conditioning in the house to a nice cool car (well, eventually) to a bus that freezes the soft underside of my upper arms, to a fifteen minute walk from the Port Authority to the office (okay, that IS disgusting) and then to an office building where I need a sweater and where all food magically appears at the click of a couple of keys without me ever having to go anywhere… even the softest and whiniest of white-collar problem specialists can surely brave that.

So, people, stop posting pictures of the thermometer in your car on my Facebook feed.  Honestly, we’re fine.

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