Last evening while watching the news I noticed I felt warm.
Now everyone in Florida lives with air conditioning. Well not everyone. There are the few who claim to love the heat and humidity and those too poor to afford it. It wasn’t that long ago that many houses in central and south Florida had no heating or air conditioning – kind of like living outside. But I believe it is safe to say that the entire deep South would still be in the pre-industrial age if it wasn’t for the invention of A. C.
Well, in any case I felt warm. I am not considered an A. C. manic by those who know me. I have friends and relatives who are not comfortable unless icicles are hanging from their noses. I keep my A. C. on 78 degrees so it is usually in the upper 70s in my house. When it is 95 and humid outside and 78 and dry in the house, I am comfortable. Matter of fact I am chilly if it goes down to say 7o outside with no humidity in the air. I put on long sleeves.
Well last evening I felt warm, so I checked the thermostat. Sho ‘nuff the A.C. was not working. The thermostat was blank, After I checked the circuit breakers it was time to call air conditioning man.
“Want us to come tonight? We can be there in a couple of hours” Emergency service for desperate souls.
I have been with this AC company for 18 years. Always efficient. Always prompt. Always reasonably priced. “That will be fine” says I. Comes 9 PM I get a call. “We’re running late. I can make it before midnight!”
“Ehh nah. I’ll call tomorrow.”
With this summer’s heat here in Tampa Bay, these guys are really busy.
Now it’s still mid-nineties outside and humid. No thunder storms this evening (of course!) The house is heating up fast and I am committed to spending a warm sticky night.
Made myself a microwave dinner (no sense adding more heat!) and sat out in the lanai as the sun disappeared. It was still warm but getting bearable.
Opening up to the lanai (a screened patio for you non-Floridians) are triple sliding glass doors. I decided to sleep on my recliner near the doors with the glass doors open rather than in the bedroom. Practically sleeping outside.
Sitting with a cold drink I remembered my youth when nobody had air conditioning. The best you could do was a fan blowing over a bowl of ice cubes. Well off folks had window fans. We never had one of those.
I thought about those sweltering nights in our Brooklyn apartment 65 or 70 years ago, sleeping in my underwear sweating buckets from the heat and hormones. Sleeping on the fire escape – something country kids could never experience. Sleeping on the roof. Reminds one of old rock and roll songs.
Later sleeping with your girl rolled in sweat – hers and yours. Sleeping naked next to the fan.
Wednesday night I relived my youth.
I slept in my underwear on a recliner near the open doors in the total darkness.
Once I was young, slim, had muscles and looked good sleeping in boy shorts.
No more; but hey; there was no one here to see the almost 80 year old guy in his undies.
The night breeze wafted over and the night sounds of the Florida critters filled the air. It’s been a long time since I listened to the music of the night. I thought of the long-ago fire escapes and sweaty beds.
Today air conditioning man will come late this afternoon and fix the unit. I’m guessing a clogged drainpipe.
A few bucks here; a few bucks there. Gotta stay cool.
Part of the price of living in the South.