Hot Problems

Look at me and tell me the truth
What do you do
When people don’t know what we go through

Don’t you love it when I come up with the perfect double-entendre post title? I’m sorry, the world’s newest worst song ever is not the subject of this post, although if you’re feeling masochistic, please feel free to find the video with the same name as this post and listen to it. I’m here to ramble about the summer heat.

It always feels like the overall weather is hot, cold, hot, cold… as fickle as the shower in a crappy hotel room. And now, the temperature just happens to be entering the climb of insanity. Summer has come along. Everybody is tortured. The heat is relentless. There’s nothing to do except endure, endure, endure…


Of course, there’s a backdoor: the luxurious air conditioner. And a very straightforward, optimal backdoor too, if it weren’t for all the greenhouse gases and energy crises in the world. As it is, every choice involving the A/C remote becomes a morality battle of epic proportions. You need to save the world, whispers the angel on my shoulder… but self-righteousness, the warm fuzzy feeling of having done the Right Thing, does nothing to release me, or anybody else, from the torture.

Naturally, I start to imagine the plights of people all across the world. Like people living in Ecuador or something who presumably have to deal with temperatures five degrees higher, people in miserable sweatshops being driven mad by the toil that’s their only way to survive, penniless guys in third-world countries who can’t even contemplate the idea of staying cool in the maddening heat. Ergo, I, and everybody else I know, am a horrible person for wanting solace. C’mon, it’s bad enough already.

Even in those rare seconds when I get to duck into a room where people less morally uptight than me have the A/C on full blast, the release is only temporary. One step outside the threshold and it’s all back with the full force. The same familiar torture, plus the cherry on top of guiltiness, of having participated in such an immoral activity when so many are suffering from worse conditions.

And the summer doesn’t stop the intricate schoolwork and mundane chores. As I languish on the couch, ideas and topic sentences float across my mind for what to do next — hazy bubbles of water vapor, almost mirages, drifting lazily in the sky. Everything is fleeting, incoherent, shapeless. But the words for that essay due on Friday aren’t going to write themselves even if I am barely capable of vegetating on blue links in front of the monitor, much less grinding out thoughtful, well-developed analysis concerning oppressed minorities. Just like the heat, there’s no way I can make it go away and stop bothering me.

There’s nothing to do, apparently, but wait, no solace from the heat except for what comes after perhaps six months, whereupon everybody is freezing instead of burning, and the cycle starts again. I get maybe five minutes of clear-headed thinking after a shower. But that’s all; the grimy irritation comes back before the feeling of peace has even fully registered, and it feels nothing short of cruel to taint those precious moments with something like writing that torturous paper.

Writing, screaming, complaining to whoever’s sitting next to me, nothing ever successfully releases this infernal build-up of thermal energy. No amount of hydration or meditation or flailing at walls stops it.

Hellfire. Agggggggghhhh.


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