While 88% of the world’s population stocks up on supplies of hot chocolate and hand-crafted mittens, in my little corner of the world we’re having a good ol’ crack at beating 2014’s record as Hottest Year Ever.
Usually the oppressive heat isn’t a problem, as fresh air is not my milieu. I spend the summer in air conditioned buildings, sipping iced beverages. (Nothing changes in winter, only the beverages are toasty warm and have whipped cream on top.) And I was reminded why in January, when I made an ill-considered attempt to spend time in the disaster zone called ‘nature’.
Nature doesn’t like me.
Here is a thing that humans do: we leave the shelters we spend our entire lives working to pay for, and we expose ourselves to the air until a 4.6-billion-year-old ball of flaming hydrogen eight light-minutes away literally incinerates the outermost layers of our epidermis, causing pain, onlooker hilarity, and, eventually, concerned glances, as our skin peels away from our bodies. Here’s the kicker: no one forces us to do this. We are not running for our lives from allosaurs. We do this for sheer enjoyment. Frequently we laugh merrily while doing it.
I did not.
I was under some misguided instructions that real life was more interesting that the struggle between Pagan Min and the rebel forces of Kyrat, and that even though zombies were not in evidence, I would have ‘fun.’
I was lied to.
So now, in February, as I sit minding my own business at my desk in my cool, sleeveless summer top, pale shreds of my skin drift down from me in an improbable dusting of macabre snow, discoloring the carpet around me until it looks like a Winchester brother got a little overzealous with the salt circle.
The bad part isn’t that co-workers with restless fingertips want to hurry the process along by peeling sheets of skin from my body. The bad part is that my unfortunate condition means I am unable to kill the as-yet-unknown neighbour who has been stealing my mail, costing me eight missing books and nearly $200 in various late payment penalties, because I will leave behind too much trace evidence.
Forecasters say it will be a longer summer than usual. What joy. I’m pencilling in May and sharpening the garden shears.
(I hope you’re enjoying reading my second-cousin’s Christmas present, you big jerk.)