I normally think of “cabin fever” as a winter malaise. I remember once in the dead of winter when my wife and I were so tired of being cooped up that we walked about eight blocks to Graceland cemetery for a self-guided tour. It was fascinating, but really cold and bleak. (The highlight was finding a five-dollar bill–which we promptly lost, too!)
The past few days as this hot air “dome” has settled over the Midwest (it reminds of the dome the government put over Springfield in The Simpsons movie) the same kind of disquiet has settled in for me. So many of us have become virtual prisoners to air-conditioning. We’ve struck a Faustian bargain: we stay cool in exchange for a lack of freedom.
Another disquieting realization? There was an article in the paper this morning about how the amount of water in the body declines with aging, from about 80 percent in young adulthood to about 55 to 60 percent for people in their 80s. That’s why it’s so important for older people to drink water when it’s hot–because as you age, your body doesn’t hold as much water as it used to. Bottom line: we’re prisoners of the heat who are in the process of drying up. Arrgh, what a wretched realization!