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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

No Different From You

I lost a part of myself last nite, a slice of who I am vanished. I am just like you now. My apartment has heat.

It was a good run, surviving half of January and almost all of February w/ an empty oil tank. I made the mistake of trusting my roommate to order more oil, which obviously did not happen. Upon returning from DC Sunday night, I opened the apt. door fully expecting a blast of hot air. Alas, I was greeted w/ a stairwell no more than 10 degrees warmer than the street.

Sunday night was a fitful sleep, awakening each hour to pull my winter hat tighter and fumble around for another layer to don beneath my three blankets. Feeling the effects the next morning, I ordered oil, which was delivered w/in the hour. Unfortunately, since my roommates and I rode our last supply of oil straight to the bottom, we needed our piped primed, as well. This required another visit from the oil company.

Scheduled for a 645pm visit, the guy didn't show up till 1030pm. He was shocked to discover we'd ordered 266 gallons of oil that day, but later claimed we'd been completely w/out oil. Apparently the smartest kids in school always go on to work for heating oil companies. His exact words were, "Holy moly!" He went on to ask us how we got by and, my favorite, "What the hell were you thinkin???" My roomie Big House and I looked at each other and offered smartass remarks such as, "It really brought us closer together" and "It was a Zen-like experience."

I can't fully explain what the last six weeks were like. Imagine riding a bike downhill knowing it has no brakes, or think of a relationship into which you kept falling deeper even though you knew it would end bad. That's how we lived the last six weeks, knowing a frigid, sub-zero night was lurking, waiting to chill us in our unheated apt. You'll know exactly what I mean if you've ever seen the Seinfeld episode when Kramer and the car dealer drive on "E" for hours, only to finally come to a halt on the side of the highway.

Imagine the adrenaline, the fear and the innocence of pushing oneself to the limit. That's how my roomies and I spent the first weeks of 2006, wearing sweaters and hats as we ate dinner, leaving the oven open after baking to help heat the rooms. And so the adventure ends, we return to everyday people who heat their homes in the New England winter. Sigh.


At 9:23 AM, Blogger Gregg M. Schmidt said...

that stinks. i stayed at my house in college the summer of 1999 in York, PA. We didn't have air conditioning and it was one of the hottest summers in history. Everyday was about 105. I would sleep with a fan blowing on my face and a bottle of gatorade next to me because I would literally wake up sweating like I had just run 10 miles.

I would rather be hot than cold though...just think - you'll be able to tell people this story forever.


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