When it comes to a bedroom, my general rule is that I slumber far more effectively when I can theoretically see my breath. I’m not entirely sure where this preference comes from or even recall how long it’s been a habit, but my guess is all of those years spent tucked under the covers inside of dank and steamy cabins at sleepaway camp probably contributed to my current hope that I’ll see frost forming on my windowpanes in the height of summer.
Sometimes, though, manmade chilliness does not quite go as planned. It was a few months ago when I crawled into a bed in someone else’s home and fell into what initially was a blissfully heavy sleep. I woke up less than an hour later due to a miserable combination of factors: a puppy exploring a bed she’s not used to, some Netflix show about gangsters blaring at some ungodly volume, and an air conditioner that was apparently made by NASA to approximate what Pluto feels like. I tried snuggling further under the covers. I thought about that Barbados heat wave I’d once sweat straight through. I nestled into the person completely passed out beside me who clearly wasn’t impacted in the least by everything in that room that was causing me total misery. I considered getting up to turn down the air, but I was afraid Tallulah would think it was morning because, while she’s a very wise puppy, she has yet to master distinctions in time when she gets excited. I finally realized my only real option was to undress the guy next to me. I figured the best-case scenario was I could put on his clothing to warm up, but should he misread anything, sex might work to thaw the frostbite, too.
I did not end up putting on his clothing. And my clothing didn’t stay on either.