On a recent drive home with my brother I explained, amid a battle over the climate control, the way that I experience hot and cold. I won’t try to fluff it up for you, it’s pretty simple: Hot is a pressure, and cold is a vacuum. Maybe this is nothing new, but my brother seemed to think it was a pretty silly idea. But for me, that’s how it works. Heat presses snugly against my body, while cold pulls away. It’s a simple matter of security. It’s why I’d prefer to wear a turtle neck or a scarf than to wear a shirt with a wide or low-cut neckline. It’s why we prefer hugs and human contact. It’s why we sleep under blankets or at least a sheet even when it is warm out. It’s why we wear clothes at all. It’s that pressure against our skin. Does this ring true to anyone else?
When I am driving in the winter by myself I crank the heat up to levels others would find cruel. I love to do this to myself. I love it for the same reason that I love cooking in this bedroom where I am currently sitting. I can’t be hot enough. Cold, to me, is the same thing as floating in outer space, with that ever present pull against every inch of your body, threatening to tear you apart. Just thinking of it makes me curl into a tighter, sweatshirted ball here. Am I crazy? Is there some scientific truth to this?
The cold is lonely, that much I know is true. And warmth, naturally, is companionship.
But at this point, even those who “prefer it cool” are on tenterhooks for spring. Good grief!