Tuesday, July 10, 2007
My severely chilled office frequently requires more than just a light sweater and often tempts me to turn on the heater stored under my desk but the near three digit temperatures outside demand far less than sleeves and long pants so my thin summer dress is hidden under a not quite matching cardigan and I try rubbing my legs together to stem the outbreak of goosebumps that lead to rapid hair growth (or so I'm convinced). Hungry, I welcome the stuffiness of the elevator before I pass from the cool, marble lobby through the revolving door to be not so gradually hit by the steamy weight of high humidity that blurs the edges of cars and buildings in the haze of the bright sunshine. My hands are still cold from sitting in my office but if I move too quickly or linger too long, beads of perspiration will pop out on my forehead, lip, chest and back to run together and pool in inapproporiate places. The sidewalks are crowded with tourists and other officeworkers, most wearing as little fabric as possible - small strapless sundresses, spaghetti straps, short shorts and loose fitting tees while the men seem to suffer in long pants, long sleeves and even worse - shoes and socks. Occasionally a heavy jacket or sweater is spotted and I know the wearer, like me, is forced to dress for a different season inside and almost welcomes the smothering heat as long as the encounter is brief. In line waiting for my salad the chill of the deli's hard working air conditioning makes me grateful for the 20 feet I will walk in the steam bath before returning to my over-air conditioned office.