Don’t Sweat It

So one night I was lying in bed and commiserating about my sweat glands, and I decided to start writing about it, which is where this all came from. I don’t know exactly what to call it or what the point of it is, but hopefully it makes sense. There’s a lot of random parts thrown together since it was written stream of consciously (oh yes, I just made that an adverb). My goal is to start writing more, so with any luck the stories will improve from here on out. 

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Don’t Sweat It

I sweat like a nun in a cucumber field. I’m fresh for about a good 5-30 minutes after a shower, depending on if I want to put on make-up before I go out, and then its over, a distant memory floating away on a breeze of my body odor. I can work up a sweat just form sitting, as if my ass is producing some massive amount of heat that triggers my body’s anti-cooling software (and if you’ve seen my but, you know that it’s not even capable of filling out a pair of jeans, always producing a little denim wrinkle of air beneath my tuckus). Sometimes I honestly don’t care, especially if I feel uncomfortable (most camp showers) or annoyed (don’t hook two different shower curtains on the same hook if you don’t want me to die…mom) about where I shower. 

 

So, sorry world, sometimes you’re just stuck with me and my stinky squiggly green lines. Sometimes (most of the time), I do try, but it’s all in vain because usually as soon as I move after showering, drying, and dressing, I’m already starting to work up a sweat, even in the dead of winter. I hate bundling up because the act of bundling up and then sitting in a warm car, or sitting inside waiting for someone else to get ready, makes me get overheated and start to sweat. I’m even sweating as I write this. And after years of deliberation, I’ve figured out that if I could have a super power, it would be to be able to control my own body temperature. Nothing hotter or cooler than a brisk 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Perpetual spring in Katetown. Of course, telling people why I want that particular super power is gross, so I usually stick to time travel as an answer. 

 

While I usually stray towards warmer temperatures, the constancy of sticky skin and lethargic limbs becomes frustrating just after a few minutes, especially if there’s a lack of a breeze. Everything all of a sudden finds your skin as a new home: sand, dirt, tiny particles of fabric, dirt, stray hairs, more dirt, and worst of all, bugs. There is no relief from the stick of sweat unless you live in a shower, and unfortunately, that’s not always a probable lifestyle (one day…). There have been a few times recently where I’ve drenched myself in sweat just from standing in a certain place (with love from Jaco) and couldn’t believe that I had any more water left in my body. No amount of water could replenish me, and not even the coolest fresh spring in a tropical rain forest could soothe my dehydrated skin. I’ve tried resigning myself to a life of excess sweat, but every time I feel a bead of sweat form on my hairline, I contemplate either not going outside at all or taking another shower (although that has the potential to start a vicious sweat/shower cycle). 

 

What’s worse is that when I shower after a hot day, I still delight in a warm shower. The only time I ever looked forward to and annoyed a cold shower was when I was doing volunteer Katrina relief work in New Orleans. It was May and I was delegated, along with another volunteer, Micah, to building styrofoam “houses” to put in the attic (they would go around the electrical circuits so that when the attic was ready for insulation, the use of the lights wouldn’t set the new house ablaze). So recap: May in New Orleans, in an attic of an unfinished house, with construction lights bearing down on us so we could actually see what we were working on. I would be drenched in sweat within five minutes of work, but luckily we took water breaks every hour to stay replenished. Still, at lunch we were barely comprehensible and by dinner we were practically catatonic, barely able to spit out cave-man style grunts. 

 

We were passed out as early as 7:30 (or at least I was) and slept through the night as if we were temporarily dead, and then, like philanthropical zombies, we woke up the next morning to do it all again. Although the cold showers were intense at first, I soon realized they were the only thing that could make my skin breathe again and that could lower my body temperature to a tolerable level (it was still May in New Orleans after all). Now that I’m in Costa Rica, I’ve started enjoying cold showers again, especially after the beach. I gladly will scuffle into the hostel room, enduring sand in places I don’t want it to be, if I can just stand under the stream (and it IS just one, heavy stream) and let the water cool my fried body. I could live there…but maybe not for $10 a night. These instances are probably one of the few reasons why I love New Orleans and Costa Rica so much, because in the end they pushed me out of my comfort zone (and my rigid aversion to cold showers). They have taken a lot out of me, but they always give back. 

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