Tag Archives: Hot

I’m never going to the desert

I’m so glad I don’t live in the desert. I apologize if this comes across as insensitive, I realize that some people live in the desert, but I really am glad that I’m not one of them. If you’re reading this from the desert, before you get angry at me completely bashing your sandy way of life, I urge you to try moving out of the desert, or at the very least getting away for an extended vacation. While I’m sure that you might be able to rattle off ten or fifteen reasons why living in the desert is cool, I’m confident that after a brief stay in a non-desert environment, you’ll lose a lot of that sand clogging up your brain, you’ll rethink everything.


True, I’ve never actually been to the desert. But from an early age I realized that I’d never need to go to the desert to understand what a terrible place it is for people to live. When I was in second grade, I remember the teacher going over a spelling lesson. She told us a trick so we wouldn’t get confused over how to spell desert and dessert: “Just think kids, you always want a second helping of dessert, so dessert is spelled with that second s.” And although that should have been enough to make the pneumonic stick, she continued, “But you never want to go to the desert, so that’s why it only has one s.”

So for a while, I wouldn’t even spell it desert, I’d spell it de’ert, because I didn’t even want my one s to be mistaken for me wanting even a single trip to the desert. This fear of the desert was reinforced when I’d go home to play video games. Anybody who had Super Mario 3 for regular Nintendo knows exactly what I’m talking about: the desert level.

It’s a horrifying place to wind up, even in an eight-bit setting. There are giant pyramids made out of blocks, but some of the blocks start jumping at you when you get too close. Each stage is infested with these bouncing flames invincible to Mario’s attacks. That mean looking sun in the background starts swooping down to kill you when you’re not even paying attention.

And I don’t want to make this whole thing about video games, but every virtual desert level is the worst. The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario 64, Mario Kart, they’re all terrible places, desolate and dried out, the sun so oppressive that if you spend too much time on any given stage, you could wind up with a tan just by sitting too close to the TV.

I can only imagine what the real desert must be like. No water anywhere. Sand flies. Holy shit, sand flies. I’ve heard they’re like ten times bigger than regular flies. They burrow under the sand and wait for you to walk by, and then they bite you. But that’s not it, the bites get infected and start swelling up, by the time the blister pops, you don’t even realize that there are all of these sand fly eggs ready to hatch under your skin. It’s the same with sand spiders.

And what about scorpions? I think that Mother Nature put certain creatures on this planet solely to keep human beings far, far away. Snakes, wendigos, and scorpions, they’re all just living warning signs, scorpions existing to tell us, look, if the miles and miles of endless sand, complete lack of water, and oppressive arid heat weren’t enough to keep you from setting up shop here, I’m going to crawl around your house and sting you with my giant poisonous tail. Now go away.

Popular culture doesn’t help the desert’s case. Nobody was looking to settle down and build a home on Tatooine. No, that’s where you leave little babies when you never want the The Empire to find them. It’s the same with the Dune series. Do you think everybody liked wearing those hydro suits, saving up their own sweat and pee to be filtered and recycled into drinking water? No, the whole point of those books was to turn desert into something non-desert.

I just don’t get it, you spend all day riding around on your camel, and if you’re lucky enough to avoid having the skin torn from your body in an unexpected sandstorm, you’ve got to worry about not accidentally tripping over some spiky cactus patch. You waste all of your time walking across the sand for a drink of water, which is much harder than walking on solid ground, and even if you happen to not get stuck in any quicksand, it’s more than likely that the drink you were after the whole time is actually a mirage, and look up above, the vultures are already circling up in the sky, just waiting for your body to collapse from the heat, yet another feast for sandworms and sandrats.

No thanks, I’ll stick with the regular worms and regular rats, no desert for me. If anybody needs me, I’ll be far away from the desert, somewhere nice and cool, with plenty of water to drink and lots of shade where I can relax.

It’s getting real hot out there

I spent a fair amount of last summer complaining about the heat. I’d sit down to write something, but the sweat would be pouring out of my body, soaking my laptop, making it impossible to write anything of significance. As my fingers would slip on the keys, as the messages popped up on the screen, “Reminder, do not pour liquids onto your computer,” I’d think to myself, this sucks, I’m so hot, I’m not getting any writing done, and everything that I do wind up writing, it’s just this long whiney complaint about being hot.

heat sunset res

Then the fall came, and that was great. Even winter was a welcome relief. And it wasn’t until about March or April that I really started to get sick of the cold. This year winter wouldn’t take the hint. It was like when you have your friends over and it’s three in the morning and you’re pretending to act like you’re still having a good time, that you’re not super tired, wishing that everyone would just leave already so you could go to sleep, and just when you think somebody might make a move for the door, somebody else sinks a little deeper into the couch and asks, “Anybody feel like getting a game of Monopoly going?”

But winter’s finally over. Spring made a delayed appearance for like a week or so. And then I woke up yesterday and it was summer again. The first day came and went and I didn’t complain. It wasn’t that hot, there was a nice breeze, I got to go outside in shorts. It was pretty pleasant considering how long winter took to finally melt away into warmer weather.

But then day two. I always bike to work and, not really thinking it through, I wore jeans and a t-shirt. Come on, I thought, it’s still May. It’s totally going to be OK. It totally wasn’t OK. The humidity was reminiscent of August. I wasn’t even halfway to the restaurant and, although you might not be able to tell just by looking at me, the entire surface of my body was covered in sweat.

It’s like, I love wearing jeans, but I can’t think of anything more uncomfortable than sweating through a thick pair of denim. The pants turn to sandpaper. Every step, every pedal on the bike, it becomes an exercise in exfoliating the skin on my legs, one layer at a time, until there’s nothing left but rash and raw.

And then I got to work and I had to change into my work clothes. I took off my damp jeans, my moistened shirt. And that wasn’t even the wettest part. My undershirt, my boxers, my socks, even though I’m going to be putting on a fresh change of clothing, everything underneath is heavy with perspiration.

I changed into my uniform. You know how it is, your body takes a minute or so to cool down. I thought my jeans were restrictive, but wearing dress pants, a shirt, tie, and a giant waiter’s apron, that was downright stifling. Not only did the sweating not stop, it actually picked up a little bit. I could start to feel my freshly laundered outfit starting to absorb it’s own layer of gross.

Man, and what the fuck? Why did it feel like the heat was still on? My restaurant is at the bottom of this gigantic building in Midtown. I can only guess that, in an effort to not be surprised if winter decides to make one or two more guest appearances this early in the warm season, they’re delaying the official changing of the thermostat for as long as possible.

I’m going to try and stop complaining. There’s nothing I can do about the heat, and it’s still May. It’s only going to get hotter and hotter. But man, I’m so f’n hot. I wake up in the morning and my mouth is like sealed shut because it’s so hot out and it makes the inside of my mouth so dry and then I go and try to get my day started but I get out of the shower and I’m already soaked through with sweat again and by the time I sit down to write even though I’m telling myself not to write about being so hot I can’t help it it’s all I can think about I can’t stop writing I can’t even make commas or periods I’m so fucking hot.

Movie review: The Dark Knight Rises

I can’t stop thinking about Batman. I saw Dark Knight Rises a couple of weeks ago and since then I’ve been all about Batman. I want to be Batman so badly. Batman came out on a Friday, technically on a Thursday night, but I gave up on midnight movies years ago. It’s one of the most cutthroat experiences in the entire human experience to try and see a midnight showing of a really, immensely popular long-awaited blockbuster. I’d go through the details, all of the grueling misery, but it would consume this entire blog post, just like it’s already consumed the better part of this opening paragraph. Besides, I already wrote about it.

But Batman. Holy shit. It came out on a Friday, but I work nights and weekends. So my only available time to see it was that next Wednesday. But my wife wanted to see it also. She works Monday through Friday, like a regular human being. We have completely incompatible movie schedules. How long could I have waited? We went through this song and dance when Prometheus came out. I really wanted to see it. So did my wife. Allegedly. We never actually wound up seeing Prometheus. I guess either I didn’t really care about seeing it or my wife didn’t really care about seeing it. But I know that I really cared about seeing it, but whatever, water under the bridge right? It’s not like I’m going to divorce my wife over a loosely based Alien prequel.

But I’d have totally divorced her over Batman. Like I already had some divorce papers drafted before the movie came out just in case we wound up getting in a big fight over it and I for some reason either missed out on seeing it or, more likely, we saw it together, but it was way after opening weekend, and by then I would have already had a pretty good idea of what to expect. And that’s a legit possibility. That’s what happened with Prometheus. I heard all about that self-surgery scene and I still haven’t even seen it yet. But right, right, bygones are bygones, I forgot. Everyone’s pretty respectful for about two weeks, tops, regarding not talking about a popular movie. But after that it’s like, “Come on man, you didn’t see Batman yet? Well too bad, it’s been out for so long. You leave the room, because we’re all talking about Batman. Loser. “

I’m not a loser. So I had off on that Wednesday and I planned on going to see it in the morning, by myself, I’d just slip in, see the movie, be done with it, and then get right back into my day as if I were never gone in the first place. I wouldn’t tell my wife at all. If she wanted to see Batman, I’d just go and see it with her again and act like it was my first time also. And if we wound up never seeing it, then it would have totally proven my point: that she really didn’t care that much about Batman in the first place, and her Batman apathy was a huge risk factor in me not seeing Batman.

I wanted to see it in IMAX, because, well, I don’t know why, really. The New York Times said I should. I’ve never seen anything in IMAX. But whatever, this is Batman! So I coughed up the extra cash and rode my bike into midtown to see this movie. And it was awesome. Fantastic. It was so f’n cool. I was actually kind of worried about the logistics. I usually get up and drink like three cups of coffee right away, but I knew that if I did that, I’d have to pee really badly like right in the middle of this three hour film. So I skipped coffee. Which meant I skipped breakfast. I was starving. And hot. I got there and I was so hot because it’s like the hottest summer I’ve ever been alive for, and I rode my bike, which made it seem even hotter, because I was hotter, I had heated up my body, and initially the movie theater AC felt so good, like such a relief. But by the end of the movie I was freezing.

And I actually had to yell at this guy in front of me for using his cell phone. He kept taking it out and playing with it and putting it back and taking it out again. I tried to ignore it, but it was right there in my peripheral vision, this little square glow, and I didn’t want to be a dick, but instead of asking him nicely at the beginning, I suppressed it, held it in, let it grow and fester and mutate and finally I was like, in a voice a little too high above a whisper, “Will you turn your cell phone off, please!” And he did. I should have added, “Come on man, this is Batman!” just to show I wasn’t trying to be a dick, one of those random guys that enforces movie house rules on other patrons for no reason other than to boss somebody else around. But then I looked at the guy after he put his phone away, and he was some dad, totally not interested in the movie which, I personally don’t get, because, like I said, it’s Batman, and it was the sickest movie of all time, so how could you not be interested?

Even if you never saw the first two movies. So what? This is Batman! But still, a small part of me felt bad as he got up and moved to a seat way over by the side, so he could play with his phone, leaving his kids all alone, all by himself, just him and his phone and his wide angle seat, where he couldn’t even see the movie. Well he could see it, but at a really severe angle and, even though it’s IMAX, part of me didn’t get the whole IMAX thing because, well, it just seemed like a really big screen. So does a regular movie screen. All movie screens are bigger than my TV, so. This was really nineteen bucks? But it’s Batman! No, it was totally worth it. I would have paid twenty, easily twenty-five, thirty bucks. And besides, normally I’d have to see the movie with my wife, so I’d probably be spending the same amount on two tickets that I did on this one ticket, so it’s not like I’m really reaching deep in my pockets. If anything, I saved some money, because regular movie tickets are like thirteen bucks, so I saved seven? Does that make sense?

When I got out of the theater I realized that a three hour movie really eats up a huge chunk of your day. Especially when it’s in midtown. I had like a half hour bike ride back to my place. And I was so pumped by the time I got out of the theater, you know, sitting still for three hours, I had all of this Batman adrenaline coursing through my veins, and so I was riding down the first avenue bike path trying to get home like way too fast, like really, really fast, and right as I was riding past the UN, I must have not been paying attention for a second, ten seconds tops, probably thinking about the movie, about how unbelievably awesome it was, and while Batman was replaying in my head, I totally collided with this truck in front of me that was making a left turn and I went flying off the bike and over the truck and, I have no idea how, but I made a totally soft landing, really graceful almost, not graceful like landing on your feet graceful, I mean, I was on the ground, but I just got up, fine, just unscratched. It had to have been that Batman energy, it somehow fortified my body, bracing it for the collision.

But I got up and I’m just so embarrassed. Like everyone saw it. It was loud. And it was in front of the UN, so there were automatically like twelve cops rushing up to me, asking me if I was OK. Like I said, super embarrassing. I grabbed my bike to see if I couldn’t just get on it and ride away, but the front wheel got dislodged and the bike frame got completely bent, so bent that I couldn’t even force the wheel in the fork, but I still tried, and while I was trying to fix it, which, with no tools or anything was never going to happen, it was just making my hands all greasy and gross, all of these cops are surrounding me, like not just regular cops, but captains, with the white shirts. And they’re asking me if I want an ambulance to come over and check me out and I’m just head down, no thank you. “You sure you’re OK?” “Yeah, I’m fine.” “Well, we’re going to let the guy go then.” And I didn’t even notice that this truck was there, being detained by the cops. I don’t even know whose fault it was. OK, it was definitely my fault.

And while all of this was going on I still couldn’t stop thinking about Batman. It was the best movie I’d ever seen in my life. I had to focus on the situation at hand. But I couldn’t, because I just kept looking around at where I was, and it looked just like Gotham City from the Batman movie, and all of these cops looked like GCPD. Reality started to blur and I figured if I demanded to see Commissioner Gordon, the cops might force me into an ambulance even if I denied treatment. So I just picked up my bike and ran. But then slowly my run turned into a walk. Even with my extra Batman energy, the bike was heavy. And the subway was like twenty blocks and three avenues away, and so I had to take a couple of breaks. And I just kept sweating, so much sweat, and bike chain grease.

When I finally got home, I was supposed to meet my wife in like ten minutes for drinks with her coworkers who I’d never met before. And now what should I do? How could I explain my bike? My whole plan was to sneak Batman into my day and then never talk about it to anybody, because I wouldn’t have had to, because it was in the morning. But now it was afternoon and I’d have to tell my wife about my bike, clearly in some sort of accident, and she’d ask what I was doing in midtown. And what was I supposed to say? I didn’t have enough time to make up an even more convincing story. So I took a shower and caught a cab to where she’s already at with her coworkers. And right after I shook everyone’s hand and said hello and introduced myself, I sat down, and I say to the whole group, all nonchalantly, “So, did everyone see Batman yet? I just saw it this morning! It was awesome!” And it totally worked. My wife couldn’t get mad at me in front of everyone. What kind of a first impression would that have been? I got off scott free.

I can only surmise that my genius problem solving skills were a direct result of having just seen Batman, because he’s a detective, and I learned a lot about what Batman would do in various situations, because the movie was three hours long, and he had a lot of different problems to solve in those three hours.

Batman was three of the most awesome hours of my entire life. Seriously. It’s still consuming a large amount of my higher brain functions. I went on facebook right after I saw it and some guy that I haven’t talked to in like five years wrote as a status update, “So, anybody else disappointed by Batman?” And I wrote back, “NO!” Maybe I’ll feel weird about it if I ever run into him in the future, but he’s probably defriended me already, and if he hasn’t, I’m going to defriend him. Because Batman kicked ass! And how could he not like it?

Anyone remember that episode of the Twilight Zone where the earth was getting closer to the sun, and everyone was so hot, but then it turned out that the earth was actually getting farther away, and so people got really cold?

It was so hot this summer. I was constantly sweating. Everyone else was sweating too, but I felt like somehow I was getting the brunt of the heat. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because I’m taller than everybody else, closer to the sun. Or it could be that I often feel like the world revolves around me, and so my problems are just naturally a little heavier than everyone else’s. But it’s also because I didn’t see anybody sweating nearly as much as I was.

I would get out of the shower and dry off and immediately start sweating again. I’d go meet somebody or go to work and by the time I’d get to wherever I was supposed to be, my shirt would start soaking through with perspiration. Super embarrassing. And it was really uncomfortable. I’d bring a change of clothes to work, because I know I’d have sweated through whatever I wore just getting there. But then I’d start to sweat through my work clothes not even five minutes later. I tried hanging out in the walk in refrigerator. I tried standing in front of the AC, to completely cool down, but I was still just damp, always a little damp, and the dampness wasn’t like a refreshing dampness, like the dew on blades of grass in the morning, it was a damp like I made a tuna sandwich for lunch, but I made it early in the morning, and by noon the sandwich is all damp.

And it’s beside the point, because there is no AC at the restaurant where I work. There’s an AC unit, but I think it’s purely decorative. People would complain to me that’s it was hot. “Can’t you turn on the AC?” they’d ask me. And I’d just be standing over them, literally dripping over them, sweating through my shirt, through this layer of cotton, and it would get profuse, leaking through my shirt, dripping onto them, but still they’d complain about the heat. And I was just so pissed. These people wouldn’t leave me a dime, I could tell, so I didn’t even pretend to act like I was at all interested in how good or bad of a time they’d be having. I’d just stand in front of them, looking at the seconds tick by on my waterproof watch, which I had to buy, because my other watch got destroyed because it wasn’t waterproof. It must have just given up, being tied around my wrist, probably exactly the same as being underwater.

“But can’t you just open the windows?” And I’d be getting angrier by the second because, yes, we should’ve totally open the windows, but my nut job boss is completely blind to reality. She insisted that the AC was working, it was working fine, so she refused to allow the windows to be opened even a crack. She had this nutso logic that open windows would force the AC to work even harder, like it would try not just to cool the room but the entire outside world, which would naturally be much less efficient, which would in turn make the room even hotter, which was, I’m almost positive, physically not possible. We reached the opposite of absolute zero folks, right here in this restaurant. And finally I stopped sweating all together, it became this rare scientific phenomenon where, because it was so hot, the sweat came out of me pre-evaporated, like just a gas, like I was just steaming, and the whole time at work it was this cloud of sweat vapor in this closed room, all of us stuck in this room, nobody enjoying anything, me not enjoying my job, the customers not enjoying their dining experience, the only person enjoying anything would be my boss, she was enjoying the line out the door of mindless sucker tourists, desperate for a piece of this tourist trap restaurant, with its line down the block, down three blocks, everyone sweating, touching everything.

You know what? This is definitely the most disgusting thing I’ve ever written about. I can’t wait until it’s winter so that I can start complaining about how cold I am. Oh man, that’s going to be so great, such a relief. Well, it seems great to me right now, but I’m sure I’m not going to feel the same way when there’s snot constantly running down my face, and I’m drinking cup after cup of hot tea, which won’t do anything to warm me up, but it’ll maybe waste another minute and a half, a minute and a half where I won’t have to concentrate on how cold I am, so I can just be a minute and a half closer to warmer weather, to summer, I can’t wait until it’s hot out again. Wait, now I’m confused. You know, I’m a pretty whiney guy. I’m really hungry too. I think I just need a snack. Maybe a bowl of soup. A nice piping hot bowl of red hot soup. Extra hot. I’ll throw it back in the microwave for another minute or two. I’ll heat up the spoon in the oven, just like you would put a beer mug in the freezer, to get all frosty. Nothing like a first hot bite of soup on an even hotter spoon. If I’m eating something hot, I want it to be hot, like hot, hot. Like super, hot. Like hotter than this summer, just so hot out.

If you can’t take the heat, sit around and squirm and complain about how uncomfortable you are

I woke up the other day in such a cranky mood. Whenever I’m at this level of cranky, it’s so easy to just sit around and bitch about everything, like every single thing. And I don’t want to, because I don’t want to feed this really annoying side of me that’s able to just look around at his life and find five billion reasons to get pissed off at everything. But I’m going to make an exception here, because I’m really, really agitated right now and, hopefully by getting it out here, I can kind of just work through all of the crazy.

Whenever I start feeling like this, I know that the problem lies with me, even though it might feel like the world is against me. I also know that, once I recognize that I’m in a crazy heightened state of being annoyed, it’s only going to probably get worse before it gets better. Anyway, I woke up this morning right in the middle of this very, very clear dream where I was working at the restaurant that I used to work at when I was in high school. It was one of those dreams where I had a million things to do, but try as I might, I couldn’t even manage to do one task without making a ton of mistakes. It was a feeling like when you’re in a pool, underwater, and you’re trying to run, and even though you’re telling your body to run, even though your body feels like it’s running, like you’re using all of the same muscles that you would normally use to run, you look around, and you’re not moving at all.

And I woke up. And it was like a hundred and ten degrees that day. So I’m just gross and groggy and carrying around this palpable sense of frustration over from, what, from a dream? It doesn’t make any sense and I try to shake it off, but it won’t shake. I go downstairs to let my dog out and the heat, which is oppressive indoors, is totally damning from the minute I step out the front door. And it’s so hot that my dog is fighting me. He doesn’t want to go outside. I don’t either, but I need him to just stop struggling and make this as painless as possible. But he does the opposite and makes it as difficult as possible. On a normal day this is the worst part of the morning routine, and now I’ve got this pain in the ass dog making it take like four times longer than it normally should.

I can feel the sunburn from being outside for only five minutes or so. I make a pot of coffee. I make some oatmeal. I wish these things could just appear in the morning, because they are as basic as basic nutrition goes, and although I need them when I wake up, I really don’t think that they are worth the ten to fifteen minutes that I have to spend getting them ready. I finally sit down to the computer and start writing. But after like a minute I’m already sweating profusely. I’m always bragging to everyone about how I don’t need air conditioning, how I’m so much more resilient to heat than everybody else, but this is crazy. The bottoms of my shorts are soaked just from being pressed in between my legs and the chair. There are drops of perspiration rolling down my body as if I’m standing under some non-existent shower. So I make a move for the AC.

I turn the knob but there’s no response. Nothing. Not even like a failed start-up sound. There’s absolutely no indication that my turning the knob had any affect whatsoever. Is it plugged in? Yes. I unplug it, which is a pain in the ass, because the chord is so short and old and it feels like it hasn’t been unplugged in forever. I plug it back in. Nothing. I don’t know what I hoped to accomplish there, but nothing happened anyway. I go downstairs to the fuse box. I know absolutely nothing about electricity or electrical work. In fact, any time a problem like this comes up, I somehow convince myself that I’m going to wind up accidentally electrocuting and killing myself just by trying to figure out the problem. I take one look at the fuse box and I’m convinced that as soon as I touch it, I’ll zap myself to oblivion.

The fuse box is clearly labeled, and one of the labels says just AC. I’m optimistic now, because it looks like the AC has its own separate fuse. So if I test it, that means that I won’t turn off every appliance in the kitchen, which is always super annoying because everything beeps as it comes back on, and then you have to reset the times and it’s just a huge annoying hassle that’s so tedious, that I know that I’ll just wind up leaving them all blinking 12:00 rather than actually having to deal with them. But I’m still afraid of touching the fuse box. I hold my breath and turn the AC button off. No shock. Whew. Then I turn it back on. Immediately the microwave, coffee machine, and oven timer start beeping. Goddamn it! Why couldn’t it have been labeled AC/Kitchen? Would that have been so difficult? What were the previous residents suffering from some sort of a label shortage? I’m muttering out loud waste-of-breath profanities, like “motherfucker, stupid piece of shit goddamn,” like saying these bad words are going to somehow fix something or make me feel better or stop me from continuing down this path of spiraling negativity which is quickly clouding my already rotten mood into something much darker, much more sinister.

And I really do hate being trapped in a mood like this. Because I’m still a few hours away from even acknowledging to myself how bad of a mood I’m in. Right now I’m just soaking it in, feeling bad for myself, justified in my ever growing contempt for my surroundings. So I sit at my computer and start to write and I can’t think of anything to write about because the sweat from my forehead has accumulated so much that it’s bypassing my eyebrows and stinging my eyes. And I have huge eyebrows, so this is a lot of sweat. And why isn’t my coffee ready yet? My body is screaming for caffeine. I look over at the pot but, oh yeah, I reset every appliance in the kitchen and that included the coffee machine that I had just turned on to brew right before I set out to look for the fuse box, good job you stupid idiot.

Finally, coffee done, oatmeal ingested. Why the hell am I still drinking three cups of hot coffee on such a hot day? At what point in my life did three cups of coffee become so necessary to my starting the day? It’s not helping. I’m just increasing the overall temperature of my body. Homeostasis interrupted, even if the definition of homeostasis is being used correctly here, not that I have any intention of looking it up. Just keep typing Rob, think of something to type about. I can’t. My laptop is so hot that it’s buzzing really loudly and my wrists are getting so hot that I can just feel the blood passing through my hands and over my laptop and becoming irradiated from all of the extra radioactive computer heat, the heat that’s always there, even when it’s cool, microwaving my body, my eyes, my wrists. OK, I’ll drink a glass of water. OK, you know what? Maybe I can’t write in the kitchen today. Maybe I’ll go upstairs and write on the desktop.

I never write on the desktop, rarely, anyway. But there’s a ceiling fan upstairs and it’s better than nothing. But, oh wait, the ceiling fan is making this stupid noise, with every rotation, a chk, chk, chk, chk, over and over again. I stop writing. I haven’t even started yet. I stop myself from even starting my writing to turn off the fan and open it up. I had to find a screwdriver. I’m wasting so much time. I have to go to work tonight. So I open it up and tighten everything and unwind the chain that somehow got rotated around the middle like three times and, have I already mentioned how deathly afraid I am of taking apart and operating on something even remotely having to do with electricity? I put it back together. Much better. I can’t believe that worked, actually.

So I’m writing now on this different computer. The keys are a lot stiffer. I feel like I’m doing finger Pilates here just trying to type. I keep misspelling certain words over and over again, words that I never misspell on my laptop downstairs. And why is the typing off? Are the margins different on this version of Word? Yeah, they are. Hold on, I know I need to write, but let’s just go on the Internet and find out how to fix the margins. I know to fix margins, but I’d like to have it so they’re automatically fixed every time I open up Word, without having to fix them every single time, when I start a new document, I have to change the settings, I’m getting more and more annoyed every second and my wrists are still sweating and sticking to the desk, there is no relief, the ceiling fan is circulating hot air, like an oven, like a convection oven, like a convection oven within a microwave oven turned up to level eleven operating on the surface of the sun, but not our sun, an even hotter sun, one of those white dwarfs, and my shorts are even wetter, I just feel so disgusting.

I go to the bathroom. I’m freaking out. I look in the mirror and splash cold water on my face. Somebody at work made a crack about my eyebrows a week ago and since then they are all that I can see, in the mirror, on myself, on everyone else. Just eyebrows. I’m just a huge pair of eyebrows living in a society completely overrun by eyebrows. I look at my nose hair trimmer. Every fiber of my being is telling me not to touch my nose hair trimmer. My hands are ignoring me. Come on, Rob, every once in a while you’ll see a crazy guy who decided to trim his own eyebrows and he looks just nuts, crazy and surprised. Don’t do it. But my hands go for it. Just a little bit. That’s not so hard. That’s not so bad. Now I just have to do the other eyebrow. Actually, that one’s not so bad either. But they look slightly different. I try to make the same motion with my left hand on my right eyebrow that I did with my right hand on my left eyebrow. But I’m not ambidextrous. This is crazy. What was I thinking?

I need a haircut. It’ll just frame the whole thing in such a way that’s not as dramatic looking. I ride my bike. It’s like ten blocks away. I didn’t have time to shampoo my hair, because every time I go to the barber they always ask me if I want to shampoo my hair, and I always say no, because I just want a haircut, nothing else. But I’m always super self-conscious, like are they not offering? Are they asking, begging, imploring? Please, please let us wash your dirty hair before you make us run our combs, our fingers through it. Please. But I always say no. I always at least try to take a shower beforehand. But that’s crazy, because after a haircut there are always a million little hairs stuck in my head and the only way to get it clean is to take another shower. How many times am I supposed to shower today?

The lady at the front always asks me who cuts my hair. And I always say, I don’t care, whoever’s free. And this guy comes out of nowhere than I’ve never seen before, and he reeks of cigarettes, and I tell him I want a number two haircut. And he goes OK, everywhere, number two, right? Wrong. This guy can’t even understand me. And he’s giving me a haircut. And I’m sitting there squirming because it’s so hot and the AC isn’t on, and I feel drops of sweat coming down my legs. And I’m covered in this nylon plastic synthetic tarp thing and it’s just making my whole body temperature rise by all of these degrees and finally he says he’s done, but it doesn’t look like he’s done. So I ask him, is that it? What about the sides? And he says, no it’s fine, that’s it. Really? I ask him, really? So he looks visibly annoyed and puts the oven tarp back on me and I’m thinking, shit, now I’ve pissed him off, he’s as hot as I am, sitting here, cutting hair in this heat. Their AC must be out also. And he’s going to make me pay for it. Why did I come in today? So stupid. I tell him it’s fine, throw some money at him, and make a break for it.

But I’m pissed. I’m so annoyed. I haven’t gotten any work done today. And I have to go to work soon. And I haven’t eaten anything. You know what? I’ll just grab a sandwich while I’m out. So I lock my bike up again and go into a deli, and there’s not much of a line, so this shouldn’t take too long. So I’m waiting, and the whole one side is a mirror, and I can’t stop looking at myself, at my botched haircut, at my ridiculous homemade eyebrows, and the front of my shirt is getting these sweat patches, but they’re not even at all, it’s like I’ve been hit with a series of water balloons, but from the inside. And it’s so. Hot. Outside. I’m So. Hot.

And there are two women in front of me. And there are two deli people making sandwiches. And the first woman asks for a sample of some hot soup. Hot soup? I’m thinking to myself, you’re crazy! Get something cold! You’re nuts! And the deli guy is thinking this also, because I’m seeing him reluctantly grab a little ramekin and very slowly he opens the soup container, and he’s hit directly with this wall of steam on this hot, hot, hot day, and he has to put his hand inside and grab a sample’s worth of soup. And she takes it and tastes it, and tastes it, and smacks her lips together, and thinks about, what does this taste like? What am I tasting here? It’s soup. Do I like this soup? Can I see myself eating a whole serving of it? I don’t know. Let me smack my lips together a little more, let me really just let the flavor sink in for a second. You know what? I think I’m just going to have a sandwich. On a bagel. Scooped out and toasted.

And somewhere on the way home I realized how bad of a mood I’m in and that things shouldn’t really, can’t really be this bad. My life isn’t bad at all. For some reason my body is just reacting to a series of uncomfortable stimuli and it doesn’t know how to handle them all at once, and so my brain gets frustrated and I start to complain and the complaining keeps going and leads to more frustration and I’m riding my bike home and finally realizing this. I get home. I eat my sandwich. I turn on some fifteen minute political podcast so I can have something to occupy myself with while I’m shoveling this sandwich down my face. I actually didn’t realize how hungry I was. The computer is talking about Mitt Romney and whether he thinks Obamacare is a tax or a penalty and Obama is saying something else and then Romney is saying something else and I don’t even care, not at all, the only thing I care about is this sandwich. And I must have been really hungry, because each bite is making me feel so much better, that by the end of the sandwich, not only am I not as hungry, but I’m not as hot, and I’m finally not as cranky. And I look at myself in the mirror and whatever, it’s a regular haircut, the same as I always get. And my eyebrows look fine. I don’t even think that nose hair trimmer works. It can’t. I’m always complaining about how it does such a terrible job of removing my nose hairs. My face is fine. I’m fine.

But I haven’t done any writing. And so I sit down right now and I write about how I spent all day being pissed off and complaining to myself and squirming and clenching my teeth and my jaw. But I was just hungry. And now I’m fine. Everything’s OK. I’ve just got to chill out sometime, man, sometimes I just need a giant sandwich. Sometimes I just need two, ridiculously large sandwiches, so big that the people behind me at the deli probably got so impatient waiting for the deli guy to put them both together.