Friday, September 05, 2014

My hot house

Four years ago, I was living in the shittiest apartments in Tampa and my air conditioning failed. Monday, that happened in the house I moved into last year.
This has proven beyond any possible doubt, once again, as if I didn't already know, that it is better to be too cold than too hot. If you're too cold, you can always pile more stuff on top of yourself in order to get warm. When it's too hot, there is no escape.
My first plan of action when I knew there was a problem was to look for a sticker with a phone number on it from the installer. I bought the house less than a year ago; maybe the AC is under some sort of warranty. I found the sticker, dialed the number and a little old lady answered and told me I had a wrong number. How often do little old ladies get a new phone number? How often does anyone get a new phone number? Clearly, any warranty there had been expired a long time ago.
So I knew I was going to have to shell out but that wasn't the worst. No, as was the case last time, getting through the nights was the worst. I find it impossible to sleep when it's too damn hot. The thermostat in my house, struggling against all hope to do its job, actually read "01" for most of Tuesday night, and that, by any sane person's definition, is too damn hot. It got down all the way to a comparably frosty 83 by the time I gave up any hope of trying to sleep and got up for the day at 5:30 AM.
It's utterly disgusting. You lay there in bed and sweat just forms on your skin and dribbles over your body, like a rib roast. You try to find temporary relief by taking frequent showers, but that doesn't really help. When you're that sweaty and you climb into the shower, when that water first hits you, it's kind of hard to tell where the sweat stops and the clean water begins. Gross. And of course, if you're jumping into the shower every two hours, you're not exactly generating a lot of REM sleep.
Then there's the smell. When your air conditioning stops working, it's like your house becomes a Greatest Hits collection of every heinous odor that ever occupied space there. I live in an older house and I would guess that elderly people used to get together there by the dozens to murder each other with fried assholes. That's really the only possible explanation for the fumes that were wafting around in there.
The combination of that vintage stench and not getting good sleep produces some interesting unwanted thoughts in the middle of the night. At one point, I had convinced myself that giant spiders had laid eggs in my walls, eggs that would finally hatch with the extreme spike in temperature. That made me nervous about trying to take showers because I was convinced that spiders the size of lobsters were waiting to roll their googly eyes at me while clicking their giant mandibles. Take all of that and remember, as I mentioned, I was really sweaty.
For the first time since I moved in, my house was not my happy, safe place. Normally, I start to relax and unwind the second I put the key in the door. Now, I was trying to come up with ways to spend as little time there as humanly possible. Getting up at 5:30 in the morning was one way. Not coming home until 11:00 at night was another. I almost... almost!... missed living in an apartment, where things like that are usually solved by calling someone and making it their problem. Then I remembered that I used to live in the shittiest apartments in Tampa and that they had let me simmer in my juices (literally) for over a week before fixing my problem. In this case, I only suffered for two days and nights. Sure it cost me money, but I still feel like I came out ahead.

1 comment:

Tyler Hollis said...

elderly people used to get together there by the dozens to murder each other with fried assholes.

This is quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever read. Thank you Clark