Dear Marta,

It is 2:30 in the morning and I can’t sleep.

I arrived back to our apartment last night at 10:30 and the apartment was a stuffy hot 200 square foot oven. I tried our usual method of beating the heat by opening the porch door and window (for we only have one) and tried to imagine a small cross breeze but found little relief.  That’s why I’m sprawled on the floor trying to keep from touching anything that would add to my body heat.  I figured if I could only fall asleep, I’d be good for the night.

That method worked when I lived in Mexico for 5 months, and again for the 2 summers that I counseled at camp (in non-air-conditioned cabins, I may add). For real: You would think I would be an expert at sleeping in sweltering heat.

How wrong I was. I woke up a few minutes ago: dehydrated and feeling like I’d just run a 5K in August. (except for the sore muscles and sweet free t-shirt. That’s where this analogy breaks down). I got up and found a Paula-shaped body print in the floor. I decided that perhaps I had been wrong. Perhaps I had been beaten.

I paced for a few moments and came to the living room. There it was: the air conditioning… taunting me. I walked over to it and imagined how nice it would feel to bite the bullet and pay for air for a few short minutes.  I remembered the few conversations we’d had about AC: about how nice it has been to only have to pay 13 bucks a months for power. About how we’ve played with the idea of lasting the entire summer fighting the heat with a box fan and a stubborn streak. That’s when I remembered your favorite phrase, Marta: “We have big girl jobs. We can afford it”.

So, dear Marta, that’s when I did it.

I turned on the air for the first time this year… and instantly felt relief at the temperature dropping inside the apartment.

Finally my muscles began to relax and my eyelids begin to feel tired.  Finally a restful few hours of sleep seemed achievable.

And that’s why our air conditioning was on last night.

Because I was the first one to cave.

And I don’t regret it for a minute.

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