Ugh, you guys. We have air conditioning but it's no match for late-August in Hollywood. I've been forced to evacuate my office/hot box since my computer monitor throws off so much additional heat it's unbearable. Plus, there are sheer white blinds on two sides of my desk that the sun bleeds through even when they're pulled tightly shut. So as if the monitor's assault isn't enough, I have to make squinty faces. That can't be good. So now I'm sitting downstairs with my laptop on my lap but not directly on it because I'd have scorched thighs. No, I have it sitting upon a down pillow. So, there's that. Yeesh. I guess I could put it to the side of me on the couch but that makes me feel like an old-timey girl wearing a skirt on a horse. God forbid I should sit in a chair at the dining room table.
Why is it particularly evil when you're hot in your own home?
Once, when I lived in NYC we had a particularly acute several-days-in-the-100s heatwave and it got so bad that I lured my A/C-less friend Paul over to my apartment to help me install a hand-me-down window unit. We wedged it precariously under the open window, crudely filled the gaping sides with tin foil and old headshots (natch) and then settled in front of its face, drinking diet cokes. It was a meager drop in the bucket and really did nothing for the room/apartment, only offering relief if you sat with its whisper-light blow directly on your head. That prompted us to have a stroke of genius and go to the movies. Because there we could enjoy not just head, but full-body air conditioning. After enjoying a subway ride featuring steaming urine, we stood at the end of a punishing line in the beating-down midtown sun. Apparently every single other body in Manhattan had the same bright idea. As we fantasized about the icy drinks we would consume, a pimply theater employee came out in a scratchy black polo and yelled to the entire line that he was sorry but the A/C was broken and I kid you not: every single person groaned and started walking away in unison. I've never seen a crowd disperse so quickly. It was like a backwards flash mob. Literally no one was there for the actual movie. Paul and I still talk about it. I don't remember what we did after that for relief. Maybe we passed out with heatstroke someplace? Neither one of us recalls. Maybe we got Tasti D-Lite. Remember that disgusting treat?
Another super hot time I remember was my first summer in LA. I lived in an old house that was freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer--and during one awful breeze-less heatwave my roommate and I begged our landlord for permission to cut the bars on the windows in one spot to fit an A/C unit. She was reluctant and also indisposed that day so she sent over one of her colleagues to suss out our heat problem and consider our request. He stood in our feverish house in a full suit and tie, looking around the room as if he could see the heat and said, "It's really not that hot in here." I looked over at him just as a single bead of sweat slid down the side of his red face. "C'mon, Rod," I said. "I know you're lying." We got our way and the next day had a friend cut the bars and install a unit. The end result? See above. It must have been the same model that I had in NYC. One possible moral of both these stories? A/C window units suck.
I think I'll just lay on the floor like Lena. She always has the right idea.