Summer heat is around the corner
I owe you a post on Street Art in Chicago, and it will follow, but I changed my mind about today's topic while I was running with the dogs this Sunday morning. I left the house at 8.15am and it was already too hot! And the park by the river was still Covid-closed so there was no chance to catch the breeze there. It only opens on weekends between 10am and 6pm, which means a) that all Buenos Aires is there during those hours=impossible to social-distance, and b) that it is too warm to run anyway.
Technically, summer starts on December 21st here (I don't think I'll ever get used to summer for Christmas and winter in July) but temperatures are already rising steadily: 26 Celsius today and often above 35 Celsius in January. On those really hot days, when I go into my closet and see a sweater, I wonder why on earth anyone would ever need one of those! On those really hot days I am also in a really bad mood: the weather looks so beautiful through the window but it's impossible to enjoy. The heat is humid and stepping outside feels like entering a hammam, you are immediately crushed.
That's exactly the way I felt when I wrote the little story below:
Throughout my life I have hidden the skin of my legs as best I could. While some girls’ skin is soft and elastic, mine is thin and translucent and reveals my entire venous system along with every single molecule of fat, reminding me of the plastinated corpses of the exhibition Bodies. Shorts were never part of my wardrobe and I always resisted the call of spring advertisements inviting us women to choose "your little cool dress for the summer", even in years when these were at the height of fashion. But recently, I left my temperate country of origin behind to move to a latitude where for the first time I understand what true heat is, the kind of humid, oppressive heat typical of Latin America that prevails in “Love in the time of cholera” (which I probably read in the middle of a winter, sitting next to the radiator). What used to just be a romantic image became a sensation in my own flesh.
Along with the increase in temperature, exile has brought other matters into my existence, such as a history of coups and dictatorships, the effects of colonization and massive economic crises. These questions are no longer mere newspaper articles about distant events, they have become part of my daily life.
This morning I bought a short dress made of light and delicate fabric. The relentless Real World has forced me to expose my skin, to surrender to the dictatorship of heat.
Since Argentina does not have the monopoly of heat (you need go no further than Paraguay or Brazil find that out and South East Asia might even be worse), I know I will need to find a remedy for my hot-days-bad-mood before we start out on our trip. Any ideas are welcome!