Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Restless Summer

Finally slumber came to take me away. Last night was the first night I've been able to catch some shuteye in months. I've had a record-breaking streak of insomnia. It's been just too damn hot to sleep. Thank goodness the mercury is now running cold and with it my streak of sleepless summer nights. 

I was just about at my wits ends and ready to take up the advice of Peanut Butter, a former coworker who I always considered to be kind of an idiot when it came to just about everything. The mind plays terrible tricks on the sleep deprived and as I laid eternally awake, I swear I could hear the echo of Peanut Butter's voice creep inside my ear. Only now it sounded like wonderful words of wisdom. A one time desert rat, Peanut Butter told me that on hot nights he would soak a cotton sheet in cool well water, wring it out until it was damp but not dripping wet, and sleep under its comforting cold touch. By morning the sheet would be bone dry and his body refreshed and cool as a cucumber. 

I thought I'd give it a whirl. Then just as I was about to dip my sheet into a bucket of cold spring water, I stopped myself. I suddenly remembered the science experiment that I once wore on my feet. It happened one day after getting caught in a terrific rainstorm that swept across all of Yokohama. The minute I got home, I kicked my still slightly waterlogged clogs off my feet and right into the closet by the front door. 

Imagine my surprise less than eight hours later when I discovered my damp Dr. Martens had spawned the fungal cure to perhaps some of the worst diseases known to man. It was a science lesson I never forgot and the thought of those greenish mold covered shoes was what prevented me from meeting a similar fate under the cool wrap of a soaked cotton sheet.

As previously noted on these electronic pages, there’s basically only one season here in Temple Valley, that's “moldy.” That's it, just the one, with a few variations thereof. There's mildly moldy, sweltering hot and moldy (what some refer to as summer), again mildly moldy, and finally, painfully freezing cold and moldy. 

Like it or not, that startling growth is one of the constants you can count on all year round here. Another is that, like a lot of places on Earth, the temperatures of this island nation tend to run hot and cold just about everywhere. I would recommend resting somewhere between the two extremes.


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