I Am a Man, and I Run Hot

Whatever the thermostat says, whatever the magical properties of your duvet, however naked I am at the dinner table, let me make one thing clear: I am a man. And, as a man, I run hot.

Sometimes we’ll be at a restaurant, and you’ll notice me growing irritable. That is because the vinyl-covered chair that I’m sitting on is trapping heat—heat that is desperately trying to escape my body. At times like this, my body is like the sun.

Sometimes we’ll be on a leisurely stroll, and you’ll notice me attacking my outer layers as though they were a swarm of killer bees. Heat-wise, this is barely a metaphor.

Sometimes you and I will get together for a picnic in the park. “It’s such a nice day,” you’ll say. “It’s so great to be outside,” you’ll say. “Oh, my God, Phil, are you all right?” you’ll say. Because it will appear as though I have partially melted.

And the sweat. The dress-shirt-staining, bluejean-dye-leaking, baseball-hat-salt-encrusting sweat. Regular people, the dry folk, claim to sweat. But they don’t know. They know a gentle rainfall. I have seen the ocean floor. Their armpits look like armpits. Mine look like evil inkblot tests.

If you ask a scientist, they’ll probably explain that my manly biome is firing on all cylinders because it needs to be prepared for battle. But you don’t need science. You just need me telling you that I’m hot. That it’s hot. And that the temperature in this Panera has got to come down.

Some people think that the winter is different. That the cold months are my time. “Must be nice to feel a chill in the air, eh?” Fools. They don’t understand the tyranny of space heaters, of radiators, of central-heating vents blasting waves of pure hotness at my firesome body.

And, when there’s winter, there’s winter vacation. Not too long ago, my girlfriend and I went to Martinique. Martinique—do you understand? As soon as we got there, she made off for the beach—or, as I like to call it, “hell”—while my battery-powered misting fan and I lay reclining in our hotel room, just counting down the minutes until we could leave that breeze-forsaken country.

A lot of people dream of going to places like Martinique. Or Italy. Or the Seychelles. Me, I want to sit in a cave somewhere. Not a man cave, mind you, where heat from adjacent men is a constant threat, but an actual cavern. Cool, dark, faintly damp. I want to sit there, in a loose-fitting T-shirt, with a bucket of vanilla ice cream, just trying to reclaim a little dignity.

But no. I live in the real world. The hot world. Forever on the hunt for the next cross-breeze. The next ice pack. The next moisture-wicking fabric or remote-controlled A.C. Until then, I’ll keep running. Running hot. ♦

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