That Time Again

It’s been pleasantly cool, for the most part, this spring, but June is just around the corner, and temperatures well into the eighties are predicted for the coming week back home in New York. Most people seem to be perfectly happy about this – the TV and radio meteorologists always act as if it’s glad tidings for all when the summer weather moves in – but I, for one, dread its arrival every spring, and always murmur silent thanks on those cool grey late-spring days that many people seem to take as a personal affront.

It’s just the way I’m built, I suppose – I’m a stocky fellow, weighing about 100 kilograms, and have a robust internal furnace. I’m also of Scottish blood, and since Scotland lies rather far north, and consists almost entirely of cold-water coastline and craggy mountains, it keeps pretty cool up there. I rarely feel cold even on the frostiest winter days, but when the temperature creeps above 80, I start having difficulty managing my heat economy, and when it gets into the 90’s with high humidity, as it does with depressing regularity in New York City, I begin to suffer in earnest. When it gets really bad – those hellish days in the upper 90’s when the sky is a glaring white sheet, the tops of the (remaining) skyscrapers are lost in the haze, the asphalt is melting, and the air at street level is a sickening, superheated misama – I begin to wish I’d never been born. I’d gladly trade six weeks in the single digits, with a howling boreal gale straight off Baffin Bay, for a single one of those awful summer days.

All right – ok – I’ll try to get hold of myself here. I’m sorry to burden you with all of this, but each year Memorial Day is when the Fear begins to take hold of me. Things aren’t too bad yet, and I’m grateful for that, but I know very well what’s coming.


  1. Kevin Kim says

    You have my sympathy. F-ck hot, humid weather. Bring on the cold! Bring on the wind!

    For me, a perfect day would have to be a day in autumn, because that’s when the sky is most likely to be clear with maybe a few streaks of cloud, punctuated by a brisk wind, and presided over by a preternaturally sharp-looking sun in an early afternoon sky.

    Standing atop a low mountain (10,000 feet or below)– or on the flank of a giant mountain– to experience such a day is merely icing on the cake.


    Posted May 29, 2006 at 1:51 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Hi Kevin,

    I had a feeling you’d feel the same way. I know it gets pretty nasty over there. I’m about ready to get the hell out of New York; I don’t know how many more of these summers I can take.

    I love mountains, too.

    Posted May 30, 2006 at 12:53 am | Permalink
  3. Mike Z says

    Move north! :-)

    – M

    Posted May 30, 2006 at 11:19 am | Permalink
  4. the one eyed man says

    Move North? Move West! Way West! Until you can’t go West no more!

    As a Bay Area resident, not only will you miss humidity entirely, but you can enjoy Schadenfreude every winter as you watch the rest of the country on television shovelling out their driveways —

    Posted May 30, 2006 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

One Trackback

  1. […] Well, just as I feared, it’s here – New York’s estival death-cloud has arrived, and life in Gotham will now be a fetid, stinking, sweaty hell until sometime in late September. Today the temperature was up around 90, the air was viscous and clinging, and the sun beat down pitilessly from a blinding white sky. […]

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