public heat

This week the temperature has risen to record highs. With scarce AC, neither in my apartment nor rarely in a bar, it is beginning to feel like Africa. Two days ago my refrigerator decided to quit. Walked off the job cold turkey. Leaving behind in fact, cold turkey, eggs and gelato to spoil. Being that there was little reason and ability to function around the apartment, I decided to pack up and head towards my work caffe where I could definitely rely on AC and a clean working environment. Closed. How could I forget that when August arrives, Italians flee for the sea. As if they have been working so hard all year, they finally earned a month to disappear. Regardless that Italy’s economy is flaming red and on the brink of default, everyone jumps ship altogether for a month do a little more of nothing, only by the water. Even the Parliament. So of course the other two places on my list for working were needless to say closed for another week. I decided to abandon the idea of working and take shelter near some form of fresh water. The public pool.

In two days, I’ve spent nearly 10 euro on vending machine water. Did I mention that the country of Italy doesn’t sell ice. Nope. You cannot just go to the supermarket like Safeway and buy a bag of ice. Not even pieces of ice. Oh but you can buy chemically operated cooling packs that last up to 5 hours and leave a smell of trash behind. All things considered, the vending machine downstairs has become a loyal neighbor. Back to the water search, I located a public pool where I forked out 8 bucks to cook in the sun and glance down at the water. I am not one of those public people that enjoys the masses and seeing random men and women half naked in suits while encouraging their babies to pee in the pool and then air dry nude. Nor am I a fan of public restrooms, the ones where you bring your own hygiene products. But this is in fact where I was. I spent my afternoon sprawled out on the cement above a sandbox of babies for 3 hours at 5 euro. No less than 10 minutes after my arrival, a trio of teenage Brazilians joined my corner with their boom box of top 10 house songs. Blasting and twirling they carried on as the heat punctured the ground and time creeped by.

Thankfully beer and wine is well priced in the public arena here. Unusual, but true. So upon my exit I greeted a folding chair and folded myself up with a cold Spritz. The sun drifted at turtle pace behind the distant apartment buildings. Air cooled, drink dried, and I wrapped my brown legs in a white cloth and scrammed. Monday the sun should set a bit later, and with a more bearable temperature to kick of the September week. Fingers crossed, hairs crossed, and eyes red and wide open for the Fall. Made it through August.


About Angela Gleason

visual designer | writer | pianist in the basement | painter in the night | fashion critic | lush | Italian savant check me out: