Week Seventeen - A Day in The Life - Heat Island
The heat is here. I mean literally, the heat is here. In the last few days the thermometer has been inching closer to three digits and that’s when our conditioner died on us!
It happened last Saturday. Paul and I were in the house. He was at the computer, and I was doing the washing. All of a sudden the house got unbearably hot. There was no cool air coming in, despite the fact that the air conditioner was on. And, of course, it was Saturday and we couldn’t find any service people available to rescue us. The earliest a company Paul called could send someone to check on was going on with our unit was Monday afternoon.
We discussed what to do: we couldn’t stay in the house. We took a quick inventory of our options: we could stay with my parents. No, scratch that. We could stay with my friend Cindy. No, that did not work either, because she had a very small place and two cats, and Paul is allergic to cats. We went through the whole list of choices and we finally settled – reluctantly! - on calling Paul’s parents and asking them if we could stay at their place until the service people came to take care of the problem.
Paul’s room at his parents’ house is still the same way it was when he was a kid growing up there. Unbelievable! I wander if they keep it that way thinking he might use it again one day? Anyway, we appreciated their invitation and spent the weekend with them.
On Monday came the bad news: the air conditioning unit needed to be replaced. There was no way of fixing it. When we bought the house last year, the inspector had told us that at some point we would have to replace the unit, because it was the original one and was getting old. We didn’t think this would come so soon, though. Seven thousand dollars for a new one! And there is no way we could live in the house without it!
We don’t have seven thousand dollars laying around. As a matter of fact, we don’t even have one, two or three thousand dollars laying around. Our budget is pretty tight as we live from paycheck to paycheck. So, now what?
Again we looked at our options – not too many and not too good, I am afraid – about what to do. I guess we could stay at Paul’s parents’ house for a while, but we would rather not, for obvious reasons. We could rent somewhere, but we don’t have extra money for rent, moving, etc. Plus, eventually we would have to address this problem anyway.
I knew where we were heading and I dreaded it. I forced my brains to come up with some solution that would save us but, of course, there is none. None except one: asking my parents for a loan. This is what I dreaded, yet I knew there was no escape.
What if my mother told my dad about our conversation? I had not talked to either of them since then, kind of avoiding looking at them in the face. Embarrassed, I guess. I wished I had said nothing, but what good does it do to complain now?
I wished I could disappear and come back in a year or so, rather than having to face what I need to face.