There’s something incredibly wearing about late-January coldness.
I haven’t been consistently warm for what feels like a very long time. It’s been hard for me to tell if houses and buildings are just underheated for cost-saving reasons (hence: everyone is cold), or if I’m actually somehow way more sensitive to the cold than most people. I tend to think it’s actually more the second. At my sister’s place, my parents’, my friend’s, I seem to be the only one taking refuge in blanket heaps, huddling around a pot of boiling water, constantly sipping away at too-hot tea and scorching my tongue.
This morning I went off to take a shower with a mountain of clothes. After standing in a jet of hot water for fifteen minutes or so — long enough for the bathroom to fill with a dense fog — I got out, dried off, and dressed like I was preparing for a hike in the Rockies: underthings followed by tights, over which went a pair of jeans and two pairs of socks (one of which is my North Indian yak wool variant). On top I crawled into a three-part layering of camisole, long-sleeved cotton shirt and wool/cashmere blend sweater. This all for being inside.
I don’t mean to put this on T., who has been very generous (and tolerant) in sheltering me for the past two weeks. As I said, this is basically how I would prepare for the day anywhere experiencing winter right now, even if my plan was to sit inside and watch a movie marathon or something. It’s kinda like camping, only indoors.
Is there something wrong with me? I noticed recently that my hands are almost never warm; I can’t remember the last time I felt them and noticed they weren’t remarkably cold. When I reach out and touch people’s arms to indicate, they shudder and pull back like I’ve dropped ice down their shirts.
It’s more curious than worrisome, like a strange muscle you’ve strained without knowing how. How do you warm up a cold body? I mentioned this over dinner last night and a friend said that lack of exercise can result in poor circulation, and subsequently cold hands. My activity level has been seriously low lately (which I blame on the weather… ha), so that adds up.
Maybe I’ll try and run when I switch to suburbia on Tuesday.
For now, I guess, it’s back to hoodies and blankets and hot tea and Google search.