I turned off my air-conditioner this morning, first time in twelve days, and I just can’t get over how loud the silence is in here, or how successful I am at being able to shut out the noise of that perpetually grinding hum. Still, without my A.C. I am a limp and worthless wreck, so complaining is out of the question.
I will never forget those Brooklyn brownstone nights pre-A.C. The whole neighborhood sitting on the stoop, hoping to catch a breeze instead of the gusts of asphalt heat rising up from President Street that wrap us in a soggy embrace. Wrestling with the pillow to seek relief in sleep that doesn’t come. Forsaking the mattress for the floor, desperate for a bit of coolness that isn’t there. Isn’t anywhere. Waking to the unrelenting heat of the six a.m. sun. Descending to the IRT underworld and the gates of platform hell. Not a summer heatwave day or night goes by when I am not thankful for the chill of New York City subway cars, the greatest act of benevolence ever bestowed on the hoi polloi by the powers-that-be.
I don’t perspire, see. I just slowly heat to red-hot like a frying pan over a low flame. But ah, this morning! The fresh, cool breeze from the window that I actually open, and the blissful temporary silence, quiet enough to hear the plunk of raindrops hitting the metal of my ancient and ever-faithful A.C. Life is good, yes?
July 31, 2016