My Lust for HeatThursday, February 22, 2018
Most people when I tell them that I love the heat they reply that this is because I come from a tropical country. This is not the case.
In my boyhood Buenos Aires, when summers can be past a humid 40 winters can be as cold as in my Vancouver. It never snows but those winters are rainy or humid. The humidity comes from the nearby River Plate. In that boyhood we did not have any kind of heating. The warmest place in our house was the kitchen where we would keep the gas stove oven open in the evenings. In bed I was either given a hot water bottle or a hot brick wrapped in a thick cloth. I remember that we had upright kerosene stoves in which we would place a pan of water to boil off the smell of cedrón leaves (lemon verbena).
The most common complaint on the street in the winter was of women comparing the chilblains in their hands.
When I returned (from a warm Mexico City and warmer Veracruz) to do my military service in the Argentine Navy we had navy blues for winter and summer whites for the warmer seasons. These uniforms were most adequate except for the determination of the seasons by some forgetful admiral.
This meant that in warm springs we sweltered in our blues and in cold falls we froze in our whites. My sailor mates complained and marvelled at the fact that I never seemed to sweat in in the summer or suffer in those blues in hot springs.
I have no idea why I do not seem to perspire a lot. I do know that I love the heat and I can tolerate extreme heat with equanimity. It is the cold that I cannot tolerate. I may have poor circulation but when I happen to touch Rosemary under her chin (she hates this thus…) she jumps and tells me my hands are ice cold.
Shortly we will be escaping the cold rain (and snow) of Vancouver for the 35 plus heat of Mérida in Yucatán. Rosemary will stare at her morning papaya with a big grin and I will do the same over my huevos rancheros. I long for that extreme heat in the ruins of Uxmal.
The photographs here illustrate not that kind of lust that some of you might be thinking about. I look at them and all I can assert is that I lust for heat.