Warming

One day I became sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Whenever I have water I need it absolutely lukewarm. I leave the bread out. I replace my refrigerator for a little thing. I shop for the food I need, let it sit in the kitchen until it acclimates to my climate, then I prepare my meal. If I cook something hot I give myself anywhere from five to twenty minutes extra for a cool down time, though I like to call it a warming. I let the hot things warm. I let the cold things warm. I like cheese that spreads out and across like butter.

I like soft things. I suppose this has come to pass with my intolerance to extreme temperature. I like to be in cashmere, a cashmere shell. Lambswool is too harsh. Linen too crisp. I’ve found undergarments of the highest quality cotton. I load what I’m wearing into the dryer five minutes prior to getting dressed. I use three sheets of fabric softner in every load. When the drying is done, though I almost always check too soon, I let it sit a moment and warm.

I do the dishes in hand gloves, to preserve my skin. I found mine at a bait and tackle shop. I think they’re purpose is for clamming. But I like them for cleaning. Sometimes I joke that I’m clamming the house, and I hold my breath, wait for Sally or Marty, or whoever’s on the line, to question it. My little private joke. I love dirty jokes, though I consider myself a clam person.

If I get too hot when I’m bustling I’ll work only in my undergarments. If my undergarments are too hot I’ll stop working and lay on my rack. I had Marty help me with it. It’s just a thing that looks like a bench. There’s slats of soft wood that run in one direction with gaps between each one the same thickness as the wood. I lay on it if I overheat. The wood absorbs my heat and the gaps cool my back. Once, I laid face down on the slats, pressed my bosom to the lines, pressed until it hurt. I liked the sensation of the gaps against my pressed breasts. When I remind myself of this feeling I clean, hoping to get worked up again, hoping to lay back on my rack again face down, to press myself into it.

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