Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hot

Tell me this: what on earth is the point of bathing during the month of August in New York City? Seriously, what a waste of time. I shower, I get dressed, I put on some makeup and do my hair... I am clean and primped and ready to go. Moments later, I step outside into the afternoon heat, and all that effort has pretty much gone to hell. Sweat happens, and a whole lot of it.

Hot in Manhattan is a hot like no other. Billows of thick steam rise up out of the ground and become trapped among the skyscrapers. Thousands of sweaty bodies rush past one another, trying in vain to find space where there is none. Not a single breeze dares blow through. The muggy air stops, unmoving. Walking down the streets on an August day in New York is like wading through a bowl of chunky beef stew: it's murky, stifling. It's impossible.

Descend into the subway and you might as well walk straight into hell. "Hot" can't even begin to describe the smelly dead air that hovers underground. Waiting desperately for the train, I am quite sure my face has melted down the front of my chest. To no avail, I think of January, of blizzards, of popsicles. I somehow survive the longest 8 minutes of my life, and the train whooshes into the station. My heart begins to race at the mere thought of the painfully freezing A/C blowing on board.

But wait: why is everyone inside the subway car fanning themselves? Why are they sweating? Oh god, the A/C is broken? At the height of rush hour? Hundreds of sticky people pressed up against one another, trapped inside this death box?

Without a thought, I turn around and race back up the stairs, out into the blazing hot sun. Screw public transportation. Forget saving money. To hell with efficiency. Get me a damn cab, and get it now.

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