The Woman Stood on the Burning Deck.
India, Feb. 16 -- There are many things I don't like about the cold.
I hate it when my toes, fingers, ears and nose feel as though they're going to fall off. (Even worse, sometimes I wish they would fall off so I don't have to feel anything.)
I hate wearing layers of clothes. They make me feel burdened, heavy and claustrophobic.
I especially hate wearing socks and closed shoes.
I hate being hunched against the weather. I haven't walked straight for a week.
I hate not being under a quilt. It's bleeping cold, I can't get out of bed.
I hate being under a quilt - burdened and heavy and claustrophobic again.
I hate having the windows closed all the time. It's stuffy and claustrophobic and I see no point in having windows if they can't be opened.
I hate heaters. I can't breathe.
I hate bathing. You go from ice cube to boiled lobster to ice cube again. Unless you've inadvertently forgotten to switch on the geyser, in which case you go from ice cube to hypothermia and death. Or you wish it was death.
But this I will grant the cold. It's got my doggerels going again.
As I gloomily boiled under the shower one night in Delhi, I found myself reciting: The boy stood on the burning deck...
No, I thought, the woman stood on the burning deck.
No, I thought, it shouldn't be about a shower. It should be The Smoker's Lament. In (a Delhi) summer, A woman stood on the burning deck / whence all but she had fled. In (a Delhi) winter, a woman stood on the freezing deck / whence all but she had fled.
Hmm, I thought. This has potential.
So I'm working on The Smoker's Lament.
It takes my mind off the cold.
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