My limbs were splayed out to all sides, my right leg hanging off the bed. I wouldn’t let my fingers touch; they’d get too sweaty and stick together. I had gathered my hair in a bun at the top of my head. Despite living in a triple, I had next to nothing on.
These were the nights in our tenth floor, un-air-conditioned dorm room in New York City. Our windows were open, blinds were down, three fans on full blast. It was unbearable.
During the day, I remember descending from the frigid newsroom in a skyscraper to the subway. At first, the heat felt great, hugging me, calming my goosebumps. It was almost like my body was in shock. Within five minutes, the warmth set in, and I was sweating through my clingy work clothes. The trains, although slightly cool, weren’t much a relief at rush hour.
There were a few days when it hit over 100 degrees. Walking down Waverly Place felt like I was in the Matrix. Everything was in slow motion, and for once, the city had slowed down. The air was thicker. I was in a different world.
Thankfully, the residents of my dorm building were saved by “emergency cooling stations.” We were allowed to sleep there until 8 a.m. for a few days.
When I think about last summer’s temperatures, I also think about western New York winters. They’ve been rather mild lately, but there have been a few days when my winter coat just isn’t enough.
New York’s climate is so bizarre.