Reason #8,234,123 New York City Sucks:
June through September.
Seriously, summer blows here. Find me a person that thinks it’s great to live here in the months between spring and autumn, and invite them to my place for an hour, and they will cry faster than those pieces of shit in Guantanamo after the CIA torture technicians crank up the Britney Spears albums. This city is a giant heatsink, and all of the office buildings that need to keep their giant unused conference rooms at a frigid 56 degrees are pumping out even more heat that gets absorbed into the concrete. Add to that the fact that people here shit, piss, and vomit pretty much everywhere as if it’s Calcutta, and the streetsides are giant open-bake ovens for garbage that is put out on Mondays and then possibly picked up a week later. And if you have the wise idea to get the fuck out for a weekend, forget it. Central Park is a baby festival on the weekend, intermixed in with the occasional gangbanger race war. And that’s on the weekend when there isn’t a parade, festival, street fair, mass protest, concert, gathering, or something else throwing a wrench in the traffic situation.
Before you start on the WHY DON’T YOU GET AC diatribe, here are the ground rules on what is known as the misery of my apartment:
- Bars on windows. No way to put in an AC unit.
- All wiring is from about 1812. We’re talking about that cheap aluminum, paper-wrapped, total catastrophe stuff, with the whole apartment hooked into two 10A breakers, which are conveniently located in the basement in a locked utility room, meaning if I trip a breaker, I have to get the landlord to come over (we have no super. yes, that’s illegal) and he’s out of the country for months at a time sometimes.
- Yes, I know they sell free-standing air conditioners. I have one. It’s the most expensive one that the most expensive Italian company produces. It barely works. It’s like making ice with a toaster.
- All of the windows are on one side, so there’s no breeze, and no real way to get one going with fans.
- I live on the first floor, so when I leave all of my windows open, I am treated to the sounds of the neighbors dealing drugs, screaming at the tops of their lungs, and/or smashing cars in the windshield with a brick to set off alarms and see which ones they can steal.
- For the 347 reasons outlined in Konrath publication 456-763-2A, entitled “why I cannot up and move at a split fucking second like all of you geniuses in towns in the Midwest with a 47% occupancy rates and rents under a hundred dollars for a 4-bed house,” I can’t move in the near future.
In another futile effort to make the situation better, I spent $100 on a Vornado fan. Oh wait, I mean “room air circulation unit” or whatever they call it. I just got it set up a few hours ago, and it’s actually working slightly better than my regular high-volume fan, but it’s much quieter, and doesn’t knock this high stream of sickness-inducing air into my face. (Yes, I know that allegedly, exposure to a draft or cold air or whatever isn’t supposed to cause a cold. But whenever I point a fan right at my head and go to sleep, I wake up with a cold. And when I don’t, I don’t. That must have to do with Jesus or dinosaurs or my Tarot card reading or something else, right Mr. Scientist?) So maybe the Vornado will help. I’m hoping if I fire up the anemic AC unit and put the Vornado right next to it, I will get some kind of better cooling. And if all else fails, I will just spend way more time at Sarah’s, since she lives in an apartment built within the last two centuries that actually has AC units, ceiling fans, and no Sopranos wannabes three feet from your head playing with their shitty ringtones on full volume at three in the morning.
I have been working full-time on Air in the Paragraph Line (aka “the zine”), or at least as full-time as I can with a real job and almost no energy from constant heatstroke. But the layout is looking good, a lot of the text has been placed, and the guts are close to ready. The one person holding up the issue is, of course, me, because I can’t decide on what to include, and I think everything in the current inventory kinda sucks and I need to write something new, but any new effort is basically a tone poem that goes like this: “MUST / DRINK / MORE / WATER”. But seriously, everything is looking good and it’s a good read, with a lot of decent fiction, some longer stuff, and I like it.
You’ll also notice some slight changes to the layout here. I’m just trying to make things look a little better, work better, whatever. If you see something horrifically broken or wrong, please let me know. And if you have any ideas or thoughts on the look, I’d love to hear your thoughts. So drop a “you should have an xyz” comment if you have any wise ideas.