Sweltering Doesn’t Cut It

The heat has arrived in Portland, and with it, the inexplicable discomfort of realizing that there is nowhere comfortable to exist once the temperature reaches a particular point.

To be clear, I’m not talking about a minor heat; because Portland weather is a wonderful cornucopia of temperature at the best of times, we’ve somehow gone from days in the high sixties and low seventies with some clouds and occasional rain to, yesterday, full sun and nearly 100 degrees, with almost no ramp-up in-between. It’s as if someone turned a dial all the way after realizing that it’s June now, and that’s basically summer.

I don’t deal well with heat. I never have; I was a kid who spent summers indoors, lying on my back reading comics, because that way I could find some shade and keep myself from turning red and sweaty. (This wasn’t a family trait; at the first rumor of sun, my dad would strip down to short shorts and pretend that he was very interested in gardening so that he could be outside, ending every day looking like a boiled lobster.) As an adult, I like to think I’ve maintained a healthy distrust of getting sunburned, to the point of knowing when to stay inside for my own good.

But the heat, though. The heat.

I do not deal well with heat. I try my hardest; I drink lots of liquids, I hang around big box fans and look for any sign of breeze whenever possible, I stick my head in the freezer at irregular intervals whenever necessary — you know, the usual stuff. None of it helps, though; no matter what I do, my body responds to high temperatures in the same way: by surrendering entirely, losing all but the barest erg of energy, and covering me with a thin film of sweat as often as possible, no matter how often I try to douse myself in cold water.

When it gets sunny and warm, there’s nowhere I can go to find relief, it feels. Everywhere is just as uncomfortable and sweaty as I fear. All I can do is hope for good AC and a swift return to sensible temperatures.

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