Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Call Me Heat Miser

In the middle of this cold snap Penelope Green published “Chilled by Choice,” in the NY Times, telling the tales of various people in northern climes who choose to live with little or no indoor heating for varying reasons. (With this beautiful photo by Beatrice De Gea.)

I am here to be the yin to their yang, to bend the cosmic spine in the opposite direction so that the earth stays on its proper axis (more about that later) with a little help from the Miser Brothers from The Year Without a Santa Claus.

“SERIOUS cold, Justen Ladda said, is when the sponge in the kitchen sink feels like wood or the toothpaste freezes or the refrigerator turns itself off.”

I don’t consider it seriously hot in my apartment---even in an honest-to-god heatwave (over 90 degrees for more than 5 days)--if I can still breath without assisted oxygen. I never put on the air conditioning, I want to luxuriate in the heat and sweat.

Winifred Gallagher explains that “when your house is 15 degrees, the only problem you have is getting warm. Focusing on survival is right up there with a Zen retreat when it comes to clearing the mind.”

Living in New York City is survival enough for me. I need to be embraced by warm air in my home at all times. Maybe I was a hothouse flower in a previous life and some of the DNA stuck.

I withstand the cold well outside; I rarely wear a hat no matter how cold the temperature. But home needs to be sultry.

I’ve traveled around a good deal, and I am certain I can live nowhere else but in an old New York City apartment with steam heat. My fate is quite sealed that way.

Rod Serling Got It

There is a classic Twilight Zone episode called Midnight Sun. It’s tells the story that the Earth had slipped off its axis and its orbit is narrowing, bringing it closer to the sun. This means there is no longer any night, and the temperature is over 100. People are dying, and the prospect is that the world will end in a ball of flames.

The story is being told from the POV of a young woman and her landlady trying to decide what to do as people around them are starting to lose their minds from the heat.

Twilight Zone SPOILER

The young woman passes out, and wakes up on her couch. The twist is that the Earth has slipped its axis, but it’s falling out of orbit away from the sun, and the world is slowly freezing. People are dying from the cold. She had a fever, and was dreaming of being warm.

Yup, that will be my last dream, at the end of time.

Play us out, Heat Miser

"I never want to know a day
That's under sixty degrees
I'd rather have it eighty,
Ninety, one hundred degrees!
Oh, some like it hot, but I like it
REALLY hot! Hee hee!"


scribbler50 said...

Alas our first disagreement, M.A., (my minor yang to your yin) as I personally can't stand swelter, heat or summer. Not being a beach guy or a Hamptons week-end warrior, summer for me is just something to get through til football returns and leaves start changing colors. Though I wouldn't go to the extremes of "Chilled by Choice" I do like an open window during winter. In one way I envy you though and that is at the end of each summer month when the Con Ed bill arrives! Brrrr!!!!

M.A.Peel said...

Hath, no one agrees with my thermostat setting!