Definition and Meaning (Not Even)

It's been a WEEK? Holy carp.

Something occurred, or must’ve done, to keep me away from this pleasant activity of posting daily. That’s fine; all that we are is irrefutably older. But the atoms and molecules that comprise us are ever assiduous in so doing, and they seem still to be keen on it, even if it is January, which it definitely is.

I’m pretty sure that I took my SATs on this day in 1991. (It’s astounding to me that that was twenty-one years ago. Babies that were conceived to a soundtrack of Michael Bolton, or Wilson Phillips, or Richard Marx, or the Pretty Woman soundtrack, can now legally purchase hooch. And, why not? They need it bad, I bet.) I remember those anniversaries and details like that to demarcate the passing of time, during both this onerous winter and this clustrophobic vastness of a life-and-living apparatus. I guess that you’d call something like that calendular—like the flower, maybe, but made of iceberg lettuce. Wait.

I’m putting myself to sleep with how excruciatingly boring I am. I’d like to say that it used to be different, but my thoughts are stale units of torpor, like rotten things float, by the time they surface, all gussied up with such idiocies as sentence structure.

Anyway, as pivotal experiences go, that SATurday morning was an especially vivid one, all cruxy and such. Such mundane situations as that frightfully cold and sunny, standing awkwardly in a high-school parking lot with a bunch of other middle-school students (I was 12 at the time), waiting to take our SATs and pretending that I hadn’t underdressed, commenced a change in the course of my life.

The SAT? It’s a test, alright. I forget its length, but I recall it as having been 4 hours in duration. Like nobody ever had a blanking bladder. At any rate, this was the work of a nameless Smartypants organization so as to kinda, you know, objectify the aptitudes of others. Because I had an extremely difficult time reading under fluorescent lights (and nobody but me knew this, because I had no wish to be humiliated), I filled in random dots on significant portions of my test. And this changed everything, because I did pretty well, and I received a scholarship for a college course. I didn’t use that for a couple of years, until just after I’d failed 9th grade. I took the only course that was available—Feminine and Feminist Ethics—and it was stunning. Noy only did I love it, but I was given the first “decent” grade (out of charity?) that I’d received in several years. It made sense for me to do something different, so I did, and I stopped going to high school, which was the most.

All that bygone superfluity aside, we experienced yesterday the ballyhooed JANUARY THAW. (It’s happened both later than usual and rather precipitously, even thoough Brunswick has been about 7 degrees above “average” for months now, so it’s just like the more-merciful-but-nonetheless-cruel western Maryland that I know so well. But, what a glorious and disruptive havoc it was here! The puddles were positively enormous. The sun was bright.

It was interesting to see that, despite this anomaly, everybody wanted for it to be even warmer than it was, and at last, I realized: the thermal spectrum of what a person can withstand diminishes with age. I mean, I knew that, but what I hadn’t realized is that the threshold of temperature tolerance on both sides (hot and cold) recedes incrementally. Observing the ways in which I am less robust than before, I did some informal projections with whatever stunted and haphazard mathphysics awareness has voluntarily gone dormant inside of me, and the conclusion landed me—finally, flatly, and firmly—at one place on the thermometer:

Seventy (70) degrees. ROOM TEMPERATURE. Next thing they'll tell me is that the afterlife is climate-controlled.



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