Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Summer hurts

My little window unit air conditioner serves moderately well to cool bathroom and bedroom, as long as I close off all the rest of the house (well, technically, it keeps those spaces a little drier than the outside air, and drops the temp by a couple of degrees). I've had it in storage since about this time last year, and, with the nice, mild July we just had, I was getting cocky enough to think it could stay there.

Not so much.

I looked at the forecast the other day and broke down. I thought I could get away with keeping the house closed up during the day and running the fan at night to draw cool air through. Unfortunately, the forecast indicates that, for the next week or so, the humidity is going to be high enough that the overnight temps will not dip below 75º F., and the days will rise into the mid-to-upper 90s, with a daily heat index consistently above 100º F.

That's just too damned hot, for me and for the kittehs.

Yesterday morning, I set up the window, and spent a half hour positioning the darned machine.... In the process, I dropped it once, and when picking it up off the ground outside the first-floor window, I gripped it wrong, somehow, and got fifteen tiny slices down my left-hand ring finger and middle finger. They are perfectly aligned little things, and resemble nothing so much in nature as paper cuts. Bunches of paper cuts. Tidy, orderly, stinging little paper cuts.

I don't really cry or swear at the big injuries. When I fell and mutilated my knees and ankle, a decade ago, I lay on the broken sidewalk and simply gave a plaintive "Will somebody please call nine-one-one?" During my year of recovery exercises, I called the physical therapist a sadistic so-and-so. I may have thought worse words, but that's all he got from me.

But fifteen little slices which barely bled and barely leave a mark today, and I said those words even my sailor grandfather didn't use (or, so I'm told by his surviving shipmates.)

I think the worst thing about getting little paper-cuttish things during the heat of summer is sweat. That salt gets into them and Miracle Max comes to mind... "While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?" ...fifteen times, all close together.

So, then I have stinging fingertips, an air conditioner grinding away as if it resents having been pulled out of early retirement, and a cat who thinks that, if the windows are closed, he needs to be on the other side of them.

Booger-head TiGrr slipped out the door last night as I was coming in. He's not supposed to be out, especially at night, when the raccoons roam the 'hood. When he came in later (around 02.00 hrs.), he reeked of some other male's spray. I think he and Ole Olafson got into a dispute. Since TiGrr has been repaired, all he can do to make his territory is to piddle, which he did on the rug, adding to the problem of living in an enclosed house with cats to which I am allergic.

I woke this morning with a whalloping sinus headache to which the antihistamines only lightly skimmed the surface.

I also discovered that the air conditioner drips. Inside the house. Thank the inventors of kitteh litter for packaging it in sturdy three-gallon square buckets. The plus side to this is, now I have a source for chlorine-free water for my houseplants...and the cats.

So summer heat isn't all bad news. I can make lemonade, as it were.

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