Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Breakdown Dead Ahead

Heat Index: An index that combines air temperature and relative humidity in an attempt to determine the human-perceived equivalent temperature.
Yesterday was a record 109 and it felt like 275. I had to take the key out of the van with a glove on my hand. Horrendous heat that made me feel like a lizard who had been run over in the street. I wanted to chop my own head off to cool my face in my blood.

Today it is a mere 104 and it feels like it is 113 degrees and I'm not sure that is even accurate as it doesn't take into account the radiation from the asphalt. Indescribable heat. Withering. I'm falling asleep in the library from abuse. Exhaustion has set in and only a visit from the police is missing before I sag into a collapse. But they have air conditioning at the mental institution so I'm not worried. It's like the cold in Alaska when my jeans actually froze and cracked because they had some sweat in the fabric. At that temp any moisture in the air becomes ice, ice fog they call it, and when you breath it you involuntarily cough because your lungs reject the frozen air. So people wear masks or grow beards that filter the moisture. Then your beard grows icicles that freeze together and you can't open your mouth. All within 2 minutes and it's amazing how quickly your brain becomes single purposed on survival. That is the kind of heat I'm dealing with here, the kind of heat that leads me to a parking lot where I'm pouring hose water over my body totally oblivious to the lines of children waiting to take their driving school lessons. A man doesn't think clearly in this kind of heat but I'm thinking clearly enough to have quit any manual labor for the rest of the summer. I'll slice chicken breasts with scissors on an industrial killing line before I lug boxes of nails to the attic of a $20 million renovation. I'm a pussy because this is Texas and the foremen and contractors don't hesitate to do what it takes to get the job done. Deadlines loom and they would do everything themselves if they had time. They don't hire you as a slave or to do work they can't or wouldn't do. No, they merely need help doing too many jobs. The heat isn't even a factor to a contractor on a $20 million gig. Steel beams could melt and sag and they would merely order more. They are not wimps. I am the wimp and I surrender before the war is lost. I'll fight another day but not for $6 an hour sweating blood onto concrete.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.