30 July 2008
My Summer Ennui
I haven’t written a blog entry in more than 3 weeks. I think about it – I do. And then I just say, “eh?” and lie down on the couch reading historical novels. And I realized that this happens every year to me around this time: My Summer Ennui.
It’s about this time of year that it hits me that it is, in fact, summer and that all this hot weather and tank tops aren’t going to be going away any time soon. I can’t write because I CANNOT THINK IN THIS HEAT.
I’ve lived in much hotter places, like Los Angeles, but this Belgian 80° F (26°C) stuff is still too hot for me. It will all be too much for me when I am an old woman and I imagine I will have to retire somewhere like Siberia to avoid it all.
Why does anyone like hot weather? It’s so inhumane! How does anyone sleep in the heat? I can’t! If I lived in some equatorial region I would quite literally never sleep. I would roam the streets at night looking for air-conditioned bars. Sleeping in the heat is unbearable. I can’t get comfortable by scrunching the duvet in some direction, and usually one mosquito who found a way to sneak in to our house will spend the entire night buzzing around my head. And if I’m lucky, if I’m lucky one of my cats will leap on my head in an attempt to get to the mosquito. If I’m even luckier my cat will eat said mosquito whilst perched casually across my face while another cat tries to tackle him to get the mosquito away from him. I will mumble, ”There’s a person under here!” feebly from under the cat heap but it will be to no avail.
Then during the day: What to wear? If I wear jeans I’m too hot. If I wear a skirt, my legs are too white. And a jacket is right out of the question. I love wearing jackets. They’re sort of my “thing”. I remember years ago when I was still living in Los Angeles, I had this wonderful oh-so-hip jacket that I liked to wear everywhere I went. Since I usually only emerge in the early evening it wasn’t too much of a problem, but I do remember there was this one occasion where it was unbearably hot and I was wearing my jacket walking down the street towards a gig. I was in a horrible mood because of the heat and I was eagerly anticipating the cool slap of air-conditioning that would hit me upon entering the club. So this lady stops me on the street and says, ”Aren’t you hot in that jacket???!!” and I shouted, ”Yes! It’s too fucking hot in this city! Why do people live here??!!” Then I let out a random scream of embarrassment and ran away. I looked back and she was just standing there looking at me like I was crazy. And maybe I was. But I never would have got that crazy if there had been a cool breeze.
Another time I had to go to this stupid job interview that was clear across Los Angeles and there was a heat wave and it was about 104° F (40°C) outside and I had to drive there and I didn’t have air conditioning in my car.
The directions I had to follow were ridiculous and I’d had to wear nylons because I needed to look “officey”, so I was basically encased in synthetic fabrics in the pounding heat, and there was hardly a breeze because traffic was at a standstill in so many places. I was miserable and sweating and then I started crying because I still had to work a day job because I didn’t have a trust fund like so many of the other comedians and my only other option would have been to work comedy clubs on the road and clearly I didn’t want to do that because that would have meant a whole life of driving to Godforsaken places in my non-air-conditioned car. I was sobbing like a baby and people in air-conditioned cars next to me were staring at me.
When I finally got to the job interview I was 45 minutes late because of the traffic and I was so covered in sweat that I looked like I’d just fallen in a pond, and to top it off, unbeknownst to me at the time, all that crying had made my eye makeup run down my face in a blurry blackness. Plus I had a pounding headache which was probably the beginning stages of Heat Stroke, so my mood wasn’t at its’ best.
When some colleague of the person I was supposed to interview with said that because I was late everyone I needed to talk to had just gone to lunch and I’d have to wait nearly 2 hours, I think something rather important in my brain just snapped. I didn’t say a word, I just walked outside, opened my water bottle, poured it over my head, and headed home. As I was walking toward my car, I glanced over my shoulder and the colleague person was staring at me through a window like a frightened prairie settler.
Later, the employment agency that had set me up with that interview left a message on my phone machine reprimanding me for my Very Strange Behavior. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.
Not my fault though. It was the heat.