A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Girls Just Want to be Warm

In the winter, the five thermostats in the Emory House are set to 50 degrees, except for the kitchen, which merits a hike to 60 degrees during the daytime. I can't go any lower or I'll risk freezing the pipes.

Basically, we're following the British principle of heating ourselves and not the whole house. Ali, Amir and I bundle up in layers of fleece, hoodies, sometimes parkas. I sleep under a sheet, thermal blanket, cotton spread, down comforter, and fur throw, with the dog at my feet like a flannel-wrapped brick. Each one of us has a space heater we use to warm our immediate surroundings. I keep mine under my desk, which is where I spend almost all of my waking hours.

Taz has the run of the house, but in the winter she's usually to be found next to my space heater, too. She sits facing it, alert, like the RCA Victor dog in front of the Victrola. Girls just want to be warm.

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