Claire McFarland: Home Air Conditioning and the Stages of Hypothermia

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Written by Claire McFarland, Cowboy State Daily

I can’t control the weather, okay?

Yes, the year of Wyoming is a cradle swinging near the fireplace and then very close to the frosty window, endlessly above a dirt floor filled with cacti. And yes I love him, but that doesn’t make me my fault.

We’ve been on fire lately, so my husband would call me every morning at 11 to remind me of that.

“Have you closed all the windows and blackout blinds?”

“…Yes,” I said, pulling the last window covering with my toes while holding the phone in one hand and a cup of hot ramen in the other.

“Did you turn on the swamp cooler?” Asked.

“Not yet,” I said, as I rushed outside to turn on the swamp cooler.

barefoot chopped across hot plates; The sun crept into my skin. I closed my eyes, bathing them in the soft lava glow of my eyelids heading for the sun.

“Did you go back inside and open the swamp cooler window?” husband asked.

I flinched on the deck, going home and pulling the sliding window to open it for the raging wet jet stream.

Finally I answered “Yes”.

Husband sighed. “Aren’t you excited about air conditioning in a few days?”

“Sure,” I dipped, sticking my top halves in the washer to peel some lumpy gum into the barrel.

But the truth is, I thought the air conditioning in the house was a myth. Sure, the pair had an outdoor fan installed a couple of months ago. He also spent a lot of time going around with some shiny metal square tubes in our basement.

I washed the dishes and sang folk songs with our sons, and wondered how much fun the husband was having fun downstairs sticking the shiny tube maze of the ceiling.

Then he went upstairs and carved neat rectangles into the floor of each room, installing metal vents in the holes as he walked.

I said, “My dear, you’d better not do that.”

He looked at me as if I had four heads.

“A lot of LEGO will be lost,” she explained.

But the husband shook his head and returned to his man project. His strained groans echoed through the new holes as he threaded the angled pieces together and pushed the screws into their sharp intervening ends.

“It sure looks hot in there!” I cracked through the hole.

“MMMGGGHH!” Husband agreed.

Then Monday came. Husband turned on the air conditioning. The thermostat, which emitted an unholy blue glow on the ground drunk, was attached to his smartphone.

The husband was holding my well-being in his hand, adjusted the temperature of the day and left for work, beeping.

My skin is taut to bullet points. Gelatinize my joints. Complicated words and thoughts slipped out of my head, leaving a dull, weary hunger and the heartbeat of my heart pounding.

This is the first stage of hypothermia.

I called the husband to tell him the end was near.

“But Claire,” he protested. “It’s an amazing 69 degrees there. You should be fine.”

I babbled, “Bi please.” “Turn it to 75?”

“Nah,” he said, “put on a jacket.”

See, all seasons work for me because my brown skin fades and darkens as I pass it on, welcome, or suntan as needed. There is no need for air conditioning and, in fact, there may be some human rights violations in the whole barbaric torture ritual of skin cooling without an appropriate level of acclimatization.

The husband does not adapt. It is the opposite of a bear, preferring to hide in a dark cave all summer and hunt for helpless bargains and sandwiches all winter.

I swam in the biggest sweatshirt for the pair. My eyes slowly turned, leaving blurred traces of the world like tadpoles across my pond of vision. stutter my heart. My brain bounced back in its cage.

This is the second stage of hypothermia.

Two of my boys were delighted… Two of them were miserable.

“Wow, mom, do you feel that?” I asked my eldest son with a smile. “Feeling good here, huh?”

My eyes shine.

My newborn son nodded. “Yeah, no more viscous swamp coolant.” He extended his pale toes, revealing a shining pearly crescent between them.

crackling my lungs My ears are getting hot.

After that, the twins walked into my office.

The cute big twin started “Mama”. “It was cold.”

The feisty little twin clung to Big Sweet’s arm with his slender brown fingers.

“Can we snuggle up?” asked Little Festy.

I stammered, “Yes, my dear.” “We should all hold on to each other and share body heat.”

The twins and I sank together on the floor of my office, realizing that if we froze on a particular Monday in July, we’d at least be surrounded by books, clasped in each other’s arms, hallucinating about incompetent swamp coolers.

Middlebourne HMFD.

“Lamer,” he said, and turned to the maiden. “Let’s go get some lollipops.”

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