it's about 1200 degrees in new york city today. ok...perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration. but it's over 90 degrees, feels like it's 105 degrees, and is sticky and oppressive and they're predicting thunderstorms and hail, which wouldn't be so bad, because anything is better than the alternative, when the blacktop virtually hums with heat.
baxter and i ventured out of the house this morning, as we do every weekend morning, to scare up some breakfast for both of us. baxter, like most city dogs who don't have constant access to the outdoors, LOVES going outside. he's part boxer, so he does this thing called kidney-beaning where he loses control of his entire body and wriggles around in a circle until you open the door and let him bolt down the stairs.
on days like this, though, baxter gets outside and looks up at me with nothing short of abject confusion, as if to say, "mom...why did you take me to this awful hot place? what happened to the real outside?" poor baby. i'm wearing a tank top and my skin is melting off...he has a fur coat.
so...we did our business...mine slightly less base than his...and made our way back into the air conditioned apartment. i always feel slightly guilty on days like this, when the sun is shining brightly and i'm locked in my apartment plotting my avoidance of the outside, trying to figure out how many days I can go if i don't do laundry.
and i can't help but wonder how humanity survived before the creature comforts of the 20th Century.
i'm working on the sequel to The Season now, which spans the summer months of 1815 in London, which I can only imagine smelled about a thousand times worse than brooklyn does today. in new york, at the same time, people escaped the city for the country, where there was more space and some room for wind to take the edge off the heat...but in London, they actually came to the city for summer. they put on their heavy silken ballgowns, took tea in closed of receiving rooms, danced the night away in ballrooms laden with people. Eric once asked me why people are always threatening to swoon in the regency novels i read...one imagines it wasn't a threat so much as a reality for women locked in the twin hells of un-air conditioned rooms and unforgiving corsets.
so, yeah. it's hot today. but at least i have an escape. and i can be thoroughly unladylike in my shorts and tank top and lay spread-eagled on the floor of my airconditioned apartment. if alex, vivi or ella tried that, their mothers would have fits of the vapors. which is a story for another time. :)