Posted by: thatjen | July 17, 2006

Geography/Lesson

Motown is melting. Heat mirages rise from the streets, making the buildings look like a drab Dali landscape. The streets are deserted. People flock to air conditioning or sprawl in dark rooms, positioned just so in front of the fan. Sweat runs down your face, trickles into the small of your back, collects behind your knees. Detroit. Is. Hot.

The past two days of unrelenting heat have brought home to me the fact that I am spoiled, utterly and totally, when it comes to heat. I’ve never lived without air conditioning, and I am a big whiny baby when I am hot. It’s a wonder Cait hasn’t divorced me yet. (Oh, yeah, we’re not legally married.) Poor Natalie, who has never spent more than a few hours away from AC, is knocked flat. She’s nursing hourly just for the liquid. Cait is doing fine and kindly refraining from giving me too much grief. Today Cait’s mom and her partner (who have a window unit in their room) took pity on us, buying a second AC unit for the guest room. I’m looking forward with GREAT anticipation to sleeping tonight. It may not work too well, as it’s been jerry-rigged, but it should help.

I’d also forgotten how BIG time zones are, and how much that affects when the sun sets. Both Saturday night, when we stopped in Pittsburgh at Cait’s grandma’s, and last night, we were stunned to discover how late it was. We’d been tricked by the later sunsets into thinking it was earlier.

Despite the heat mirages and odd tricks of the sun, we’re having a great trip. Natalie has met great-grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, dogs, cats, birds and friends galore, and has charmed them all. We’re headed into the wilds of Michigan with friends later in the week, and hope to escape the heat in the cool, dark woods (where the sun will set even later, I believe!). Until then, you can find us in the nearest movie theater. Or bookstore. Or cafe. As long as it has AC.

*Although right now as she is reading over my shoulder, she commented, “You know, I survived many years here without air. At least one of them in the attic**.”

**Yes, the attic. The guest room at Cait’s mom’s is the attic, and that’s where we are staying. Bleah. (It’s a lovely room, but heat rises and all that, you know?)

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Responses

  1. Glad you guys are having a good time! The heat is totally awful here as well. And there are air quality warnings.

    Yuck.

  2. “Sweat runs down your face, trickles into the small of your back, collects behind your knees.” And may I add “turns your bra into a fetid swampland”? That’s my personal favorite.

    I bet that window unit is your new best friend. I am currently totally in love with mine.

  3. Heh. Jill and I have the same conversations.

    The house where I grew up never had AC, and my parents were 100% committed to the notion that it would be cooler to aim the fan away from you and away from your room, so all fans faced the hallway from the bedroom doorway.

    Ah, the Midwest. 🙂

    Have fun!

  4. […] partner up at the airport, Jen decided to investigate the damp spot near the air conditioner purchased for our benefit two summers ago (here is where I remind you that we stay in my mom’s attic when we’re visiting). […]


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