This misfortune was immediately followed by a five-day heatwave. Despite my perverse resistance to installing my window air conditioner -- and therefore many nights spent sweating buckets into my sodden bedding -- I learned two things about humans and heat:
- When people who live in an extremely HUMID area -- like those of us in Southern Ontario -- complain about 35-degree temperatures that feel like 42-degrees due to the humidity, people who live in DRY areas say -- repeatedly and disdainfully -- "Ha! It's that hot here ALL SUMMER!" To which I can only say: try going out in that heat with a wet towel wrapped around your nose and mouth.
- When people complain about the devastating heat, a subset of other people say "Ha! In the winter you complain about the cold, now you complain about the heat! You just like complaining!" This is like saying "You complained that you were thirsty, so you'd better not complain when I throw you in the pool and drown you!" However illogical it is to complain about the weather -- since nobody you complain to can actually change it -- it is NOT illogical to complain about temperature extremes.
Anyway, I'm also living with a cat who is a bit like the Tazmanian Devil, only more hyperactive and noisy. She is a fearless destroyer of bookshelves. She has learned that the best way to send me leaping out of bed in the morning is to sharpen her claws on my mattress, which I imagine her doing with a big grin on her face.
As of this morning, Muffet is forbidden from entering my bedroom. This is difficult because I haven't lived with closed doors for over ten years, and also because I don't think she'll adapt quickly or quietly to this change. Her favourite window is in my bedroom, and so is the sock drawer. I foresee many challenging nights ahead.
Third obstacle: constant pain in my shoulders. Sometimes it's barely there, and other times it feels like my biceps and shoulders are being held together by old rusty rivets made out of bubbling lava.
When I told my family doctor that I was on a three-year waiting list to see a shoulder specialist, he had a fit of furious Irish passion and booked me for a series of examinations. Yesterday a delicate lady held an ultrasound paddle to my shoulders and we viewed the inside of my pathology: wavy lines of bone and fat surrounding ominous black holes of encysted fluid.
Then I crossed the hall to get some X-rays done. It was a much more respectable operation than the last place I went to, though it ALSO had a cupboard which emitted terrifying scrabbling sounds.
Most interesting was the woman who took the X-rays. She was brusque and businesslike, but every time she prepared to take another picture she'd say "Hold your breath!" in an incongruous sing-song way, like the way you'd speak to a mischievous child. I felt weird, standing there in my lead girdle, with this extremely professional lady buzzing around who would suddenly disappear into a booth and sing out -- as though she were offering me a popsicle -- "Hold your breath!"
In other news, I have joined the board for the condo corporation, which is a story I'll tell someday. I also joined the board for the Open Ears festival. I have added "The Toronto G-20" to the list of topics which must not be discussed in friendly company. I walked past my old apartment and saw that the vegetation grew back but the junker cars remain. I read "Babbitt" by Sinclair Lewis, "Day of the Triffids" by John Wyndham, and a beautiful book about undeciphered ancient scripts by Andrew Robinson. If I go on any sort of vacation this year it will hopefully be to Easter Island, because I want to see what their discos are like.