Monday, June 15, 2015

Quench this Crazy!

A priest once described hell to me as an outer-darkness where you'd be tortured both physically and mentally. A place where you'd see nothing but faces of agony, weeping and the "gnashing" (yeah! "gnashing!") of teeth, and I'd say to myself "Mm! Doesn't sound too bad. It's basically just a day at the RTA." He then added that hell is like a "furnace of fire that will never be quenched" and only then did I drop the stolen 100 dollar note I'd been using to snort cocaine off my friend's wife’s back! That's a deal-breaker for me. Dangle me over a flame by my neck and I'll promptly give up the Jews hidden beneath my floorboards!

But I've spoken of this before, so in the spirit of warming you up this winter, I'm instead here to tell you about the two times the heat brought me to the cusp of bat-shit insanity.


It was 12 years ago on a hot summer day. The keyword to remember here is "skin-tags." It was disgustingly humid that day. The air was so thick that it was an effort walking through it. My mum had dropped me at my friend Steve's house for what was still considered at 12 years old a "play-date."

Steve's folks were not well-off. They lived in a fibro home with zero air conditioning. I could have just said "no air conditioning" there, but zero is a motif here, because due to the heat, my interest in being in that sauna of a house was zero. There was zero ice, zero places of refuge and zero shirts on Steve's overweight father. Sure, it was so hot that we could've been mass-producing cacti, but is it too much to ask to keep our gear on when there's company around? But that's not the worst part, because what he did not have zero of were skin tags. Not even close to zero! There were big ones, small ones, dangly ones. It was like there was a Saturday morning soccer field on his back! There were so many in one spot that it looked like he was smuggling grapes!

This, combined with the relentless heat, made me fucking nauseous! I had no choice but to take breaks outside every few minutes, from both the spectacle and the stale air. I'd actually see my mum's car pull up on the street in what I would keep realising was a fucking mirage (not the Mitsubishi, an actual mirage!). It actually was hours until she was coming, but I swear it felt like days, and needless to say, I counted down every second (each of which I could’ve counted on his father’s back). Until then, sanity had transcended me like a hot air balloon.


Just when I thought I would never see the day again, I relived the same hell four years later. The keyword here is "ice-machine." I was at the blossoming age of sixteen. Ten of us, most of which I wasn't entirely fond of, seeked refuge from the heat inside Angela's place, whom I was also not quite fond of (and for good reason; fuck me!). We huddled into her meager loungeroom like sweaty, panting cattle. We asked, no, we demanded ice water, for which we received, but it would not suffice. We reigned blows down upon the coffee table, ordering for more! And then Angela's old-lady wheeled out a portable air-conditioner and we cheered like she was Russell Crowe in Gladiator! She was our hero! I was instantly attracted to the blonde, less-than-average forty-something; that's how mad I was going!

Upon plugging it in, Angela's mother walked into the kitchen for some reason and began slamming ice cube trays against the counter top like it owed her money. A small part of me was puzzled as to what she was doing. A much larger part of me wondered why the god damn air conditioner wasn't doing its job yet. She walked back into the room with a bowl of ice cubes and proceeded to pour them into the unit. I salivated like a dog with a vacant expression as I watched her do this. It was the most sensual thing I'd ever seen a woman do, and mind you, I was a sixteen year old with a broadband connection. She assured us that this would cool us down.

So, we waited and waited, meanwhile the number of us versus the size of the room was not helping one bit. What's worse is that we were watching a music channel which was showing songs from Good Charlotte's awful new dance-rap album. I was losing my shit! And then I was looking at the unit, thinking "What is this thing? Is it...wait a minute! This isn't a portable air-conditioner at all! It's a big, huge, ugly fan!" And believe me, it did nothing but make an annoying sound. This thing was as much an air-conditioner as Mike Tyson is a feminist. So, once again I was stuck, and instead of skin-tags, it was a machine that taunted me with noise and Dance Charlotte which essentially did the same thing. It's hum sent me around the bend and up the arse of Lucifer himself! I didn't know if to go or stay, but once again, days felt like they were falling off the calendar. NO! Seasons were, allll of them still hot! Spring, Autumn, Winter. Hot! Hot! Hot!


Never again!

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