The continuing chronicles of surviving the 2012 heat wave without air conditioning.
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The hot trek across the parking lot ends with the parting of the pneumatic doors and an orgiastic blast of cold air. The sensation is two-fold, with the first being obvious enough. The second is a deeper chill as the sheath of perspiration on your skin reacts to a sharply increased rate of evaporation. The effect evokes a subtle shudder.
The air. The blessed cool air. The air in the grocery store is cooler than any other air anywhere. After all, this store is brand new. Units are fully charged and undoubtedly the most efficient model available. So so so cool.
You walk slowly, much slower than is appropriate. You linger in the bakery department with no intention of buying anything, but just to bask in the brightness of the gleaming plastic containers of brownies and cookies. Happy yellow daisies top each lemon cake.
Frozen is a grand corridor, lined in steel and glass. You select nothing, but smile at the promise of effortless food nonetheless before spilling out into the land of milk and honey.
When you reach the end of the refrigerated cases full up with tubs of margarine and Cool Whip, however, a switch inside you toggles. Your legs and arms suddenly feel bare in the manufactured air. It's chill is becoming uncomfortable. The Pillsbury Dough boy's smile is a lie. You push the tube of crescent rolls back into the dispenser rack. You head to check out, you're step quickening. Goosebumps erupt on your thighs.
As you approach the exit, you realize you're anticipating the earth's blast of heat almost as much as you had anticipated the store's blast of cold just 35 minutes ago.
The feeling lasts for as long as it takes to traverse five yards of hot asphalt.
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