Stone cold.

My body temperature has always been 96.8.

I’ve long suspected that those last two switched digits were the reason that I’ve never been uncomfortably hot.*

I’m hardly weatherproof; I’m cold when it’s much under 80 degrees and downright miserable when it’s under 70. But when it gets up over 100? Bliss. My ideal day would be dry, about 110, with a nice hot wind blowing.

As you can imagine, this is my very favorite time of year.

There’s a small catch, though. The kind of weather that makes me deeply happy makes pretty much everyone around me completely miserable.

I’m a people person. I can’t just completely ignore this. (I know. I’ve tried.)

A few years back, we had record-setting heat or some such nonsense, and we had to meet my brother-in-law in the Valley. (LA people will know the Valley averages temperatures approximately 50 degrees than the rest of the area. 50, 20 – something like that.) So much of my extended family was standing on a corner discussing – actually, I don’t know what they were doing. I was busy. With my face tilted up to the sun and my arms stretched wide, I was glorying in the hot sun and the gritty, burning wind and pretending I was in the middle of the desert. As you do.

Until I noticed it had gotten… quiet. My god, the looks I was getting. What? I’m happy! DON’T YOU WANT ME TO BE HAPPY?

Although that was probably my finest moment in annoying actual loved ones, my best for sheer volume had to be when I was working in a record store. All day long, transaction after transaction would go more or less like this:


“Actually, I love this weather!”

“Fuck off.”

(Mostly they said that last part with their eyes.)

Oh, I could have lied. I could have nodded sympathetically and kept it to myself. But you try to keep stuff to yourself when you’re brimming over with joy. It’s hard.

When I was pregnant, everybody promised me my body would turn into a furnace. My third trimester was during the hottest part of the year, and I was assured that the heat would, for the first time in my life, make me a miserable wreck. WELL. Not only did I not overheat at any point, I was still freezing the whole time.

Apparently my system is stubborn when it decides to be peculiar.

Here’s a thing I feel guilty about: I have a long history of health problems. When these heatwaves strike and I’m the only ebullient person for miles around, I kind of relish the feeling of being the person with the coping skills for once.

Tangentially, today my acupuncturist speculated that I might have False Heat – True Cold. I nodded thoughtfully and Googled it later, as you do. I’m not sure; the descriptions I read made me think I’d look more like a creepy doll if I had it (which would be A LOT like a creepy doll) – but it’d be interesting if acupuncture averaged me out.

*Because no cliche is without truth, it sometimes is too humid for me.

PS – this is an exercise in writing something and publishing it, because I have become the True Queen of Unpublished Drafts this last year or so.

10 Comments  to  Stone cold.

  1. Scott says:

    Your body is apparently the carnal equivalent of Narnia (“always winter, never Christmas,” although in your case it would be more along the lines of “always summer, never…” I don’t know …”Labor Day Weekend?” It doesn’t have quite the same punch, but it *would* mean you’d never get to enjoy those major household appliance sales at Sears and Best Buy).

    I’m philosophically — hell, fundamentally — opposed to the Unpublished Draft. Send it out into the Universe, I say! The worse you’ll get is a “meh,” but you never know. A lot of the stuff I’ve almost deleted before hitting the Publish button has turned out to be the most popular, so I guess the lesson here is People Will Surprise You, or I’m a Lousy Judge of My Own Work.

  2. Allie says:

    I used to be EXACTLY THE SAME until I started the low-dose thyroxine. now I still get weirdly cold, but it’s not as bad and doesn’t involve wearing QUITE as many sweaters to bed. ANYWAY this is my first summer on it, and when it gets hot I feel really miserable!! Success! But I’m confused! Being warm is so weird…It’s a totally alien feeling, and, well, let’s face it, it’s still hot for like 2 days a year here anyway. So I’ll stay on the thyroid pills.

    “The Valley” is a mythical place for me. I have never been there, although I think I’ve been driven through it. I think that counts, as there isn’t actually much there, right…? I feel very British right now.

  3. Scott C. says:

    The best way to really experience the Valley is to be driven through it, preferably at a high rate of speed, and absolutely without stopping, regardless of the disruptions to normal traffic flow, property damage, human carnage, and impromptu action movie set pieces which will necessarily result.

  4. elizabeth says:

    I’m glad Scott got to that question before I did, because I could not have summed it up so succinctly.

    Scott, I get what you’re saying about Unpublished Drafts, I really do, but these particular ones would just freak me out if I set them free. They’re not just subpar. They fall into three categories: the ones that sound all “you kids get off my lawn” even though I’m trying to write something positive with no complaining; the ones where I go on for like 12 Word pages trying to explain why I like, say, a record, and fail to do so anyway; and the ones that are both. It’s not pretty.

  5. Allie says:

    Wow. That sounds awful. Why on earth would anyone then arrange to meet up in such a place??

    Unpublished drafts – I’m with Scott! It pains me that all of these unpublished EB manuscripts are curling up with age in the hard drive. Publish! Maybe you need a separate blog for such items – or an ” “unpublished” ” category.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    It’s also where approximately 80% of the recording studios are. There’s some good vegan food too.

    And NO THERE WILL BE NO PUBLISHING OF THE UNPUBLISHED. Trust me on this one. It’s the right thing for everybody.

  7. Keith says:

    I was going to write an “I miss the Valley” comment, having grown up there, but it seems I don’t.

  8. Keith says:

    OK, I miss Hamburger Hamlet.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Umm…. yeah, I’ve still got nothing.