Of all the things I can hate in this world – and God knows there are many – the heat wins by far the Palme d’or, all categories combined. Heat is my enemy, my nightmare, my most formidable adversary, the one I fear the most. If I listened to myself, I would live in the Arctic, naked in my igloo, without talking to anyone except a few idle penguins.
I don’t understand where this aversion comes from. My mother, my grandmother, probably entire generations have lived for centuries under the hot Tunisian sun. Logically, even if that blood mingled with another from Eastern Europe, cold-blooded and icy capable of withstanding the most intrepid winters, I should have inherited some genes likely to make the warmth agreeable to me.
Instead, as soon as the barometer shows a temperature above 20 degrees, I’m already suffocating and from there, each additional degree is like another step towards hell. Past 25, I liquefy. Beyond 30, I’m as if dead, just good enough to beg the gravedigger to bury me alive. It’s like a curse, a divine punishment that would have fallen on me and would make me unfit to evolve under sunny skies.
Never talk to me about the beach, the towel lying on the hot sand, the suntan cream, the bathing suit that leaves my overpowered legs exposed to the sun. I hate anything that has any connection with the sun and its supposed joys. To remain planted like a bewildered under a parasol burning like a sea of steel would be for me the worst of tortures, a torture to which under no pretext I would submit. Vacationers, tourists, local wildlife who offer themselves to the sun like others to a voodoo god, know that I curse you, you and all your clique. Me, I am a man of the shadow, of the shadow of the shadow itself; where the sun never breaks through, with three bobs on my head, you will find me.
For my greatest misfortune, I live in an apartment where as soon as the first buds of summer appear, the temperature rises to 25 degrees and does not drop again for months, day and night. Mystery of fluids, narrow windows, design error, architect versed in hatred of Jews, penniless owner, cat with invasive fur, woman with hot exhalations, everything in this apartment contributes to transform my life into an uninterrupted nightmare.
It’s because the heat makes you stupid, atrophies the gray matter of the brain, transforms the most alert of minds, especially an agile and lively like mine, into a stupefied molasses barely able to search the net for something to alleviate its suffering. From laundry soaked in front of the microwave to ice cubes ingested anally, nothing ever works and I stand there, haggard, stunned by the weight of my own stupidity.
Everywhere, especially around my bed, I have installed a battery of fans so that my house looks like a showroom of household appliances. Everything spins, hums, swirls in a din that is reminiscent of that of a supersonic rocket at the moment of its takeoff. To speak with my partner, we use megaphones, and when all the devices are at their maximum, the wind blows so much that we need cords to move from one room to another.
Last year I did buy a portable air conditioner, but since the start of the war in Ukraine I hardly use it. Like any good citizen of this planet, I am learning energy sobriety. When I crack and end up lighting it, I have such a bad conscience for the future of the Earth that like a madman, drunk with remorse, I start planting trees in the middle of my living room, naked as a worm. Or I flog my scalp with bamboo sticks from organic farming.
Physically, I no longer look like anything. I have no appetite. The few times I open the fridge, it’s to grab a bottle of cold water, a ritual repeated so often that my bladder looks like a nautical complex where water is flowing everywhere. I go to the bathroom so often that my footsteps have dug on the floor when I go to empty it heavily – my bladder can be heard.
Nightmare of my life in the summer. My breathing is heavy, my armpits harbor puddles of sweat and my mood is so gloomy that even my cat when he gets hungry doesn’t dare come near me. With all these fans vibrating day and night, I end up having hallucinations where, carried by the wind, I see myself flying from room to room before eating myself in the face of the kitchen window.
With global warming and its ravages, I don’t know how I’m going to survive. I have already left France for Canada, but even here we are suffocating. I dream of going back to the ice age, when the Earth was shivering with cold. My only hope is to die before the planet becomes a real furnace. With a little courage, I could become the first climatic immolate. I would go to any beach and douse myself with gasoline to protest against the inertia of governments unable to stem the rise in temperatures.
I would be the equal of Greta Thunberg, an interplanetary icon.
In the meantime, I have to pee.
We would love to say thanks to the writer of this article for this amazing content
Summer, my hated season