Air Conditioner

Streams of consciousness dry up by mid morning when it’s this hot in New York City. 100 degree weather is forecast for Thursday, up from the mid 90s on Wednesday. Old people on Chinatown’s streets struggle to the curb and glance alarmingly up then down the road, waiting to cross. They squint through the waves of heat for oncoming traffic, only to conclude that it’s a guessing game. It’s possible to imagine them melting and then sparking on fire, like in the recent Tsui Hark movie, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.

New York could go up like this. In weather like this, it’s possible to sit on the street with your back against a brick wall, look up towards the atomic sky, and imagine New York’s end. The city isn’t just glancing nostalgically backwards; only its ass is pointing towards the future. We hide from tomorrow in quaint, air conditioned speakeasy bars, museum shows about the revolutionary 60s, and in burnt rotten pages from modernist texts. Right now, in some other place, a non-city maybe, or one much bigger than New York, some people are brewing a new culture for a future without weather.

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