Part 2 of The Cold Apartment
(<- Read Part 1)
Fifty-four degrees for a week was no sweat. Sure, I had to wear my coat around the house, but my bed, once it got warmed, was very warm indeed. It became quite difficult to leave it in the morning. My fingers seemed to move more slowly than usual when I took my gloves off to type in my room. I came to empathize more closely with cold-blooded animals who simply cannot move when the temperature drops too low.
J returned first. When I bragged that I had passed his challenge, he was surprised. He told me that he had never meant to challenge me. He thought that I was leaving for the break as well and that he was cooling what would soon be an empty house. When Nate came back he told me that it’s illegal to heat a mine shaft less than 55 degrees, and miners have gone on strike for less than what I did to myself.
Now let’s fast-forward one year. J and Nate switched rooms and now Nate was beside the kitchen and J was next to me. With respect to my newly proven ability to withstand cold temperatures, J made 54 the standard house temperature. Fortunately, the weather had not yet gotten that cold even outside.
Then the Polar Vortex hit. Duke Energy sent out an email asking us to all try and conserve energy, so J, as any good citizen would, did so. The catch was that he used the current temperature of our house – 54 degrees – as the baseline, so he put the temperature down to 48 degrees. Nate was to come home shortly, at which point J and I agreed that 48 degrees would not fly, so I was happy to do my part to help keep Duke Energy from being overwhelmed. I solemnly donned my long-johns, sweater, subzero-rated jacket with the hood up, three pairs of socks, earmuffs, and ski-mask and shivered violently on my couch, secure in the knowledge that I was doing the right thing.
Next Week: Giving up on finding a shared temperature