Temperatures hit 97 today. I put the air conditioner in the bedroom window after suffering in near 100 degree, muggy air for the past two days. I didn’t have to go to work. It is a Jewish Holiday. The little gem with coils inside makes my ground floor apartment tolerable on days like this. There was so much dust in the filter. I carefully brushed the globs of microscopic material that had gathered by the handfuls and wondered what must be going down my lungs if this is what the air conditioner picks up in here. All those little airborne particles had been removed from the apartment air by the little sucking contraption that makes it possible to sleep on nights like this. It’s better than a blow job.
The precious box was buried in the hallway closet under unraveled spools of Christmas wrapping paper that the cats have been shredding since December. I found my Miracle Grow plant food from last summer in the closet. I had been planning to buy the fertilizer simply because I was too tired to look for it. I wasn’t sure where I stored it last Fall. The garden is doing well. Corn is up. Tomatoes had to be staked so I did that today too, using two wooden mop handles that I had tossed to the back of the yard several years ago, thinking that one day, they would make excellent stakes for my tomato plants. (Sifting through the closet under the hallway stairs saved me $8.99. I did not have to buy more blue-crystal Miracle Grow plant food simply because my closet had appeared to be feasting upon the fertizer and growing like a bad weed.) All I had to do was clean it out and suddenly life felt like the day when I admitted to myself that I was gay and I was going to sleep with men, no matter what the rest of the world seemed to say in regards to mothball lifestyles.
We toss many interesting things into our junk closets. Everyone must have one. I cannot imagine a home without a place to toss things that we are too lazy to pack away neatly and in an organized manner. I found that umbrella that I thought had vanished out of thick-air.
Gas and electric bills are soaring. I’m almost afraid to plug in the a/c. “Balanced Billing” plans haunt me like humidity. The price of a pack of Newport cigarettes is nine dollars a pack now. My cats eat only canned cat food when it’s hot like this. We were planning not to use the air conditioner this summer and cut corners. We thought we could do it with just a fan.
All winter our feet fought with the cats for space in front of space heaters. I packed the machines that were once our life-blood in the hallway closet today. The sight of those coiled machines in the living room made me sweat. We saved thousands on our oil bill this winter. If it were not for the cats and those heaters, our toes would have been frost bitten.
November – May is more than half a year. Our teeth chattered all that time.
Now the heat is upon us. Brooklyn is boiling. The cats dare not cuddle.
I found an old picture that Shawn took of me in there. I thought I got rid of them all. It’s impossible to empty a hallway closet.