Secret Pop

Jan 14, 2007

Record Lows

It was so cold and dry this morning that I had a nosebleed. First one in at least ten years. I think the last time I had one, I was sitting at my desk at Protein Polymer Technologies, and I saw drops of blood splashing onto my computer keyboard. I was wearing a lavender silk blazer, and I was dismayed that I got blood on it. Before that, the last real memory I had of a surprise public nosebleed was in fourth grade. I wrote about it already, so I won't belabor the point. As a little girl, I used to get nosebleeds with some frequency. I would have to climb out of the top bunk of the bunkbed I shared with my sister Sarah and go trouble my parents with my hand to my nose and a bloodstained nightgown. Many of my pillowcases had blood stains on them, now that I think of it. I had a fish pillowcase I liked very much. And a very soft blanket with pale green teddy bears on it. The fish pillowcase definitely had blood on it. I think the teddy bear blanket survived unmarred. Though I don't know what's become of either of them. And it's occasionally a source of dismay. If only I could recapture all of my childhood fancies by way of Marketplace.

So it was a recordbreaking cold day. Lows have been in the 30s. I heard on NPR this morning that today's low broke a record set in the 1930s. There were sheets of ice on the 405. I had a fire in the fireplace and soaked my ice cold feet in scalding bathwater at least five times today to restore some amount of circulation to them. It was cold enough to make my nose bleed and cold enough to keep the blood from ever reaching my extremities. Cold enough to wear mittens and stamp one's feet when standing still outside. Cold enough to make the obligatory conversations about how cold it is seem slightly less jejune. Just last week, it was hot as summertime. I only narrowly escaped falling prey to seasonal illness. It's the ups and downs that get you. The getting caught out after nightfall in a t-shirt and jeans when suddenly you could keep meat and dairy products on your doorstep with no fear of them going to spoil.

It is going to continue to be cold for the next few days, according to the weather services. I don't like to turn the heat on in my apartment. It smells a certain way. Dries my whole head out in a certain way. But when it's 55 degrees inside, I sometimes give in. And when I do, I'm reminded of all of my previous winters in this place. That smell. That nauseating cushion of artificial coziness that is so much more present in my bedroom than anywhere else in the place. I don't like the way it feels. But I like remembering how it felt before. If that makes any sense.

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