Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Dog days are here

Fuck the calendar, summer has officially arrived. Know how I'm sure? First, but certainly not the last, mosquito bites of the season. I was wearing a skirt and eating outdoors last night and lived to rue the consequences.

The thing that truly bites - haha - about mosquitoes is that there's no way of fending them off, outside of bathing in DEET or whatever the latest chemical that the FDA has approved. And some days, call me crazy, but I just don't feel like slathering myself in an additional carcinogen.
Those citronelle candles and coils sure as hell don't work; neither do those bug zappers. I should know, because I have tried the gamut of mosquito-repelling products.

The first year I lived in DC, I was one of six residents of what I fondly like to call "The House of Usher." I could tell many, many stories about that shithole, but the bile still threatens to choke me, so I'll leave it at this. My bedroom was on the third and top floor of a row house, which merrily collected heat all the live-long day. At night, the temperature would drop a whopping three degrees or so, making it hover around 90. That is not really conducive to good sleeping conditions, and yet our air-conditioner did not work. Alas, we also didn't have screens on our windows, giving us the following options: keep the doors closed and die of heat exhaustion, or open up everything possible with the hopes of getting some sort of draft and dealing with the mosquitoes. I chose the latter. As a result, I walked around with so many mosquito bites that more than one stranger physically recoiled from me, asking what sort of skin condition gave me that awful rash.

When the lease was finally up and I started looking for a new place to live, I briefly channeled Scarlett O'Hara as I made a fist and vowed that as god was my witness, I would never live without screens or air-conditioning again. And I haven't.

I think this post can be boiled down to one sentiment: yay air-conditioning!


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