The New York Heat Wave: A Personal Tale of Misery

heatWhen I arrived at the office this morning, I had to wring my bra out in the bathroom. After a 30-minute commute in a 100-degree heat wave, I was soaking wet, a little chaffed, miserable, grouchy, thirsty, and hotter than a whore in church. The New York weather, the Chicago weather, hell the weather across this nation is so g.d. hot that I would easily accept an invitation to hell where I'd imagine it'd be cooler. This "heat dome," or whatever we're calling it, cannot be beat with portable air conditioners or cooling centers. It cannot be alleviated with Popsicles at work, lax dress codes (I dressed like I would for sixth grade soccer practice), or those ridiculous spray bottles with fans attached.

There's only one solution.


Complaining. It's what makes us all feel cooler, calmer, and more collected. So let me cool down here by telling you about the absolute heat misery I've endured since I started making my way from the East Village to our midtown office.

The eight blocks between me and the NR subway stop is usually NBD. Today, friendsicles, it was totally a BD. I couldn't breathe. It was like I was inhaling through Rebekah Brooks' hair. By the time I'd gone six blocks, the back of the shirt was so wet that it clung to my back like it was afraid of being left behind. Then it was time to go under.

Underground on the subway platform is like the ninth circle of hell, only hotter with way more angry dudes in suits. Those poor souls -- those who had to wear suits today. I saw one banker dissolve into a puddle before my very eyes, kinda like that metallic terminator did. There were about 60 of us waiting for the N train in such complete distress and anguish that people were going up to strangers, handing them knives, and asking that they put them out of their misery. A baby exploded. Two women stripped naked and just stood there, skirts and shirts in hand. It was so hot, I couldn't even muster the strength to move away from them.

The subway ride itself is a deceiving little treat. Like something Jesus would give you before he laughed in your face and was like "Ha ha! You thought you were getting past these gates?!" and then kicked you back down to Hell. The train is that little slice of AC heaven before you're spat right back out onto a subway platform where you have to walk up the escalator (it's broken, natch) and into the heat. Oh, the humanity.

When I stopped to get my morning coffee, my deli guy asked me if I needed to sit down. See, my Irish blood can't handle the heat. I turn a color of beet red that would only make Dwight Schrute proud and everyone else horrified. I look like a dripping wet red peanut M&M. I assured him I didn't need to sit, but if he had a paper towel, I'd take one to wipe my face.

The towel essentially disintegrated when it hit my wet face, leaving white paper along my hairline and, yeah, a little up my nose. I had forgotten my Whitney Rag* so I had no choice but to use a paper towel. I won't make that mistake again. I finally made it into the office and headed right for the bathroom where I disrobed, washed my face, and wrung out my bra.

The only great part about a heat wave of this proportion is the complaining and commiserating. I love it. I love talking to strangers about it. My sister hates it ... insists that it's summer, what did we expect, this happens every year. But me? I'd rather be part of the heat hype than a heat wave scrooge.

So. IT IS SO HOT OUTSIDE I WANT TO DIE. I'M DEAD. RIGHT?! So hot. I can't. Cannot. I'm melting. Work should be cancelled. We should all be at the beach right now. So hot. Holy shit balls. Hotter than hell. Hate it!

How are you today? Hot enough for you?

*Whitney Rag is a cloth rag you use to wipe the sweat off your face, a la Whitney Houston when she's cracked out on stage.


Photo via Dave Hogg/Flickr

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