Running hot and cold

You know how exhausting it is when you never know what you're going to get from someone? When sometimes the reception you receive is warm and loving and other times it's cool and distant? And you never know what's at the root of the temperature swings?

Well, that' s how I feel about our apartment hot water heater.

About a week and a half ago is the first time I took an entirely cold shower. Since the hot water in our building is always consistent (and available), I figured it was a one-off. All the same, it stuck with me the entire day. I'm always chilly as is, and a cold shower is genuinely torture for me. I shivered until I gratefully crawled under the covers that night.

I'm one of those people who loves water, particularly when it's scalding hot. I find it therapeutic to heat myself from the outside in and turn my skin a steamy, splotchy pink. Sometimes it's like I can't get enough heat - I often lay on the couch with a heating pad on my stomach just to warm my core. More than once I've let it get so hot I've given myself a lasting heat rash.

So imagine my disappointment when I came home from a long workday last night at 9:30pm, dropped my bags on the floor, shed my coat, and ran to turn the bathtub tap on only to find cold water spouting out. I'd had my heart set on a bath. (It's kind of odd, recently when I come home at night I find myself craving a bath, feeling like nothing else will help. I think it's this crap weather combined with the increasing stress I've been carrying around with me like a personal accessory.) Faced with the crisis of not getting what I want when I want it, rather than completely melt down I instead set up camp on the couch with the heating pad and a Buffy the Vampire Slayer dvd, and I stayed there until almost 2am. I can't explain that - I was so overtired it was like I couldn't sleep.

This morning I woke up to what is now becoming a familiar situation - no hot water. I endured the shower for as long as I could and then hopped out, mopping dry my still-soapy, unconditioned hair. Not a fantastic start to the day, especially since an outfit conundrum shortly followed.

And as if a cold spell is following me, now I'm sitting in my office and the entire building is without heat. Everyone's complaining, which allows me to sit quietly while the calls to facilities and the jokes about icicles growing off of people's noses are being made. Fading into the background I can wallow in self-pity as I type this post with my gloves on.