I feel like flailing my arms into the air and cursing the sun and the heat and the humidity and, since I’m ranting, why not include the bicycles on sidewalks and that guy who was kicking a plastic bottle up the street this morning at 4:00 a.m. and the young punks who don’t give Harriet — my bad knee if you missed last week’s blog — a seat on the streetcar. I shocked this guy the other day when, as I was descending the steps one-by-one, I turned to him and his girl friend, pointed a dramatic finger at them and said, sarcastically, of course, “I hope that when you are older and your knees are hurting that NO ONE, not one person, gets up and gives you a seat. Have a nice day.” It at least got them stammering the ubiquitous,-Canadian-I-don’t-really-mean-it, “Sorry.”
But back to this weather, I feel very biblical about it I do, because for me the effects of it are catastrophic. Well, I do exaggerate quite a bit, but if you can’t put drama in your blog where can you put it, eh? And anyway, I, well past 65, am now considered high risk whenever an Extreme Heat Alert Warning is issued. “Take care of kids and old ladies, please,” they advise. Old men are in there too but I’m selfishly only thinking of myself in this blog. They can write their own. I have to admit yesterday, as I walked through Kensington Market, I felt a little woozy in the head and wondered if this is what they are talking about. Who was around to help me then? Maybe I should have been wearing a sandwich board reading, “Heat Alert! Heat Alert! Carry These Groceries Home for This Old Lady.” That is too dramatic even for me. I wasn’t dehydrated since I must have drank five liters of water yesterday but maybe it wasn’t enough?
My biggest problem with the heat, is that everything, from the waist down, hurts. Every tiny vein in my legs is throbbing, throbbing, throbbing forcing me to pull on those hated, ugly, I-feel-like-my-mother compression hose. Here it is the hottest week of the summer and I am wearing thick, tight-fitting hose. I haven’t worn hose since I threw out my last pair of panty hose that I had brought up here from my office days in DC. Well, that’s not exactly true since I do own compression hose for a reason. Dr. J, the 12-year-old vein — and vain — doctor told me to wear them everyday for the rest of my life! But I just can’t. The injustice of it is that when I really need them, it’s so bloody hot outside that the thought of another layer is unbearable. Oh, I do whine, don’t I? I can hear Rose murmuring from her perch on the back of the couch, in soto voce, “Ann thinks she has it bad, how about if she had to wear two inches of fur all over her body.” I tell her if she doesn’t shut it, I’ll make her pay the Hydro bill for all this air conditioning she insists on.
I, also, think that since I was born in the deep dark days of December I am not meant to live in hot, humid temperatures. I’ve always been like this. I remember in DC where I didn’t have air conditioning — you think I complain now you should have seen me then — I’d go a little crazy every summer. I broke up with the Argentinean Physicist in the middle of a heat wave. I had called him to cry out my hot, miserable plight. Rather than saying, “Pobrecita, I’ll be right down to bring you to my air conditioned palace,” he told me to go to the super market if I was hot. Maybe I should go out in the front yard and throw the hose over the tree branch and run through it like we did as kids to cool down. Believe me, how ridiculous I’d look, is the least of my concerns.
So, I had better just clam up about all this. It’s close to a mortal sin to complain about the heat in Oh Canada. People retort by reminding you of the very cold, very long, and very isolating winter. They look at you askance if you even hint that this weather isn’t
just the Cat’s Meow of all weathers. I think they’re all pretending to like it just because there’s only another month or so of summer. Meanwhile, maybe I’ll just “hibernate” from the summer and follow the cats to the coolest spots in the house to sleep. It takes less energy than complaining, anyway.