Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hot or Cold?

Among the various either/or philosophical quandaries that have vexed me for a lifetime--among them, plain or peanut, Betty or Wilma, burrito or enchilada, Scranton or Wilkes-Barre--one just might have been solved this morning. The way I consider it, the question is a complex one: based on how good achieving the opposite sensation--thus, relief--feels, would you prefer (I'm talking literally here, no figurative shadings of meaning) being cold or hot? Simply put, does it feel better to be warmed up after being very cold, or cooled off after being overly hot? I'm also talking domestically; I'd rather not mull over the grim prospects of being stranded in deserts or blizzards. In everyday life, what's your preference?

Now I realize that for someone who lives where I do, Cleveland, Ohio, I should consider this question only on either May 15th or September 15th, to be free of all environmental bias. That said, this morning, as I loitered in bed wrapped in a thick blanket, with, as far as I could tell, only my pert proboscis protruding into the cold air, visions of heaven coursed through my cozy sinews. One mere extremity spasm, which would have resulted in a blanket flap rending my cocoon and exposing my entire corporeality to a true draught that would have instantly brought the horrible word ague to my mind, was all that lay between bliss and bedevilment; I hunkered still as I could, even trying to perfect the art of breathing in and out of one nostril to minimize movement.

While the body lay luxuriously dormant, though, the mind reeled. I remembered a long ago hot August night, stuffed in a tiny Manhattan apartment, when I slithered out of the hideaway bed and stood in front of an opened refrigerator door until the milk started to turn; I remembered the initial splash of boyhood plunges in bodies of water; I remembered air-conditioned 19th holes after six-hours of duffing; I remembered escaping into the walk-in fridge, ostensibly to get more potato salad, but really just to cool off from shaking out five large pots of steaming green beans; I remembered countless mini-ecstasies that merely turning the pillow over in the middle of the night brought about. But un-unh, nothing, not one hot-to-cool memory, as great as they are, could match the wondrous feeling of how I felt at that moment, warm, snug, stupendously static, when brazen, burring cold was only a motion away. So gleeful was I that soon I even voluntarily rolled over, just to experience once more the cold-to-warmth sensation that the necessary blanket rearranging would cause.

So it's done with. Case settled. I'm a cold-to-warmth kind of guy. Now it's on to other questions, such as, if I had to make a choice, would I rather be blind or deaf? But before that, I've got some plumbing to do--gonna install those separate taps so I can hold my hands under the cold one for several minutes then shift them over to the hot. What are your weekend plans?

Richard Thompson-Cold Feet

1 comment:

    When you are hot and cool off you become comfortable.
    When you are freezing and warm up you become both comfortable AND cozy.