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Worldwide Ace » Liquefaction

Worldwide Ace

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24 June, 2012 (09:10) | Random

I feel like the Wicked Witch, doused in water, steaming, sizzling and melting into oblivion. My organs boil and bubble like a cauldron, my skin burning red from the teeming liquid inside. I recede into nothingness, disappearing into the floor, folding in on my existence, unable to think due to the oppressive heat.

Officially, the high temperature for yesterday was 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 C) as measured in Denver, but a friend’s thermometer read 109 F (42.8 C). Even the darkness of night couldn’t spell the burning, an official low of 68 disappearing into the mid-70s before 7 AM this morning.

In Asia, people hid. They wandered through the heat, disappearing into malls to wander aimlessly through aircon, pretending to be in witsec in restaurants to escape the scalding humidity, and diving into warm pacific waters to douse the flames running down their back.

In Colorado, the dryness tempers the raging inferno of summer; the altitude provides cool breezes that help sweep away the rising volcano; the mountains provide a close escape the from the steaming bowls of suffocating vapor collecting in the foothills and valleys. None of this seems to matter, though I know how much worse it could be.

I feel like I’ve been sleepwalking, like my every step should be accompanied by a dirge. For the past month, I’ve been having difficulty sleeping. Partly, this is due to the temperatures and heat, and partly to other stresses in my life. I look around and watch people meander and mope through the heat, suffering the slings and arrows of the solar oven that is the atmosphere, and I feel in good company. The zombie apocalypse is now and the only end in sight is the promise of cool.

At camp, the heat is raising tensions. Challenges seem monumental, teamwork a chore, and kids inexplicably lose the ability to read, write, and explain verbally. I’m starting to wonder if I’m losing the same. Perhaps our brains are boiling in our skulls, liquefying under the pressures. Perhaps trepanation is the only answer…

The National Weather Service calls for it to cool down by Wednesday, dropping into the low 90s.

I can only hope that I’m not a puddle of melted goo by then.



  • craigtalbert

    I prefer defenestration among all the other -ations. You could preform trepanation followed by defenestration, which seems like a logical order depending in what you defenestrate.

    Remember you’re a human with on of the most sophisticated internal cooling systems among mammals. So get some water and some electrolytes and some high spf sunscreen, and stay strong, my man. Not knowing much about your predicament other than what you’ve written, that’s kind of all I can say.

  • Thanks, Craig. That’s solid advice.

    I’m trying to stay hydrated, and certainly I’m surviving, it just feels tremendously odd. I’d rather be thriving, but I guess I don’t always have that option.

  • Mitchell Hulse

    Sometimes the slings and arrows feel like muskets and artillery, but I have a good feeling that we will pass through this torrent of heat (and all that it brings) soon enough.

  • They say time heals all wounds, but sometimes time is a fickle bitch and lets them fester and grow worse instead. Fuck you time.

  • TheOldBear

    In 1896 a great heat wave swept the eastern United States resulting in thousands of deaths including about 1500 people who died in New York City.  There is an excellent story about this in the Summer 2008 issue of the New York State Archives’ magazine.  You can find it online here: http://www.archives.nysed.gov/apt/magazine/archivesmag_summer08.pdf.

    The article tells of the horrors of the tenement slums and of dray horses lying dead in the streets and people forced to endure working in sweat-shops and factories.  And, as hellish as all this seems, the article concludes:

    Heat remains the country’s biggest natural disaster killer, claiming on
    average more lives than earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes
    combined. Recent heat waves around the world reinforce heat’s ability to
    kill: 1,700 were killed in the 1980 U.S. heat wave; more than 700
    people died in Chicago in 1995; and the European heat wave of 2003
    contributed to an estimated 52,000 deaths, 15,000 in France alone.  . . .

    People died in 2003 and 1995 for the same reasons they died in 1896:
    heat sources in the city, particulate matter in the air, and the very
    architecture of cities; employers who took no precautions for their
    workers, who literally worked themselves to death; no access to air
    conditioning or cool water; and nothing done to aid the most vulnerable,
    the very young and the very old.

    You are young, in good health, and able to cope with the heat as unpleasant as it may be. But I hope that you and your friends are staying aware of those around you who may be vulnerable to the heat and helping out those who may need assistance.