Ever lived in the tropics? Even been there during the rainy season?
Well, it’s not the rain that gets me (I live on a mountain so flooding isn’t a problem). It’s the inescapable dampness that permeates everything.
There are parts of my cement floor that haven’t looked dry since the first rain. I had to put my opened pack of gum in a ziplock bag…because the air turns the sticks of gum into a sticky, mushing goo. Every leather item in my house—wallet, belt, bracelet—I regulated to a ziplock bag. Even though I stored those items well off the floor and in the driest places in my house, a nice blue-green film grew on them. My wooden cooking utensil are now spotted with mold from just waiting to be used.
Washing clothes is a bear because the clothes won’t dry on the line. And despite my diligence, a small crop of mold started to form in my wardrobe. I had to wash about three quarters of my clothes as salvation from the infectious growth and certain squalor.
It’s between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and it feels like the pits of winter (and technically is here). It’s partly the breeze that cuts through my uninsulated house without shame that makes mild temperatures seem frigid, but it’s mostly because in the shade the dankness is finger-numbing.
Of course, winter only lasts a couple months. I have grapefruits, oranges, and mandarines sitting on trees, ripe and ready for picking, whenever I need a vitamin C boost. The sweatpants, knitted socks, sleeping bag, and heavy comforter that seem outlandish in the thick of summer are my key to survival when bedtimes comes these days. Bedtime comes hours early and wake up time comes hours late. It’s just too dark or too cold to function at optimal rates.