The Lonely Hat  
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Illinois Beach State Park
Zion, IL
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Robot, Robot


07:10 on October 31, 2001 image


10:10 on October 26, 2001 image

I take back what I said about not wanting the heat to come on again.

I don't care if the whole place floods with smelly oil and brown water.

I just want to be warm!

05:10 on October 26, 2001 image

I have my eye on you Mister Radiator! You better behave. That means NO more barfing on my clean kitchen floor!

04:10 on October 26, 2001 image
Mr. Radiator Has Just About Had It

Something horrifying just happened in our kitchen.

We have steam heat radiators in the apartment. They date back to god only knows when. Some of the air valves on them say 1965, but I imagine that is just the year they were replaced when the old ones rotted off.

When the heat comes on, and it does once in a blue moon, we have come to accept the violent banging and shaking of the pipes, the sputtering and hissing of the air valves and the unpleasant odor. This is not the way steam heat is supposed to work, but when something is broken this badly, it's pretty much beyond hope. So we just accept it, because we can't afford to live anywhere nicer.

The radiator in the kitchen has never worked. It bangs the loudest, shakes the most, hisses and pants more than all the others, but it has never even gotten lukewarm. So we just avoid going in there, except to cook or make a quick snack run, because it feels like a meat locker.

Until today.

The banging became so violent it literally shook me out of bed. I ventured toward the kitchen. The hissing turned into a nauseating gurgling and popping.

It's dying, I thought to myself.

Then the smell....

OH GOD! The smell!

Like rancid oil mixed with 50 years of dirt and grime. All heated up real nice, just to emphasize it's stinkiness.

I was convinced at this point that it was just going to blow and retreated to the safety of the bedroom. There I stood, shaking from the cold, peeking around the corner at the belching radiator.

Then it happened!

Water began spewing out of the air valve all over the kitchen floor. Nasty water, reeking of things long dead.

I just stood there in disbelief.

Then I noticed the radiator next to my computer was attempting to following suit. But it could only muster up a small burp, resulting in a few drops of water and nothing more. But it has learned another trick, and is now oozing an orange, greasy substance from its feet. A very smelly oil, indeed.

So now, no matter how cold it gets in here today, I most certainly do not want the heat to come on again. I fear being burnt beyond recognition when the radiator 2 feet from my computer explodes. Or worse yet, having the entire apartment covered in smelly grease and boiling water.

And now I must go mop the kitchen floor.

This is no good! No good at all!

11:10 on October 25, 2001 image
Toasty Warm

The heat finally came on!

I feel like breaking out the hawiian luau in a box and partying!

It's now a balmy 55 degrees in here. Which is still 13 degrees; below is the minimum temperature by law our landlord is required to provide during the day.

06:10 on October 25, 2001 image

To the illumined man or woman, a clod of dirt, a stone and gold are the same.

03:10 on October 25, 2001 image
My Insides are Shivering

Current weather conditions in the apartment:

53.1 degrees

I am wearing a big fuzzy hat, 2 pairs of socks, a fleece jacket and a blanket.

I swore, I absolutely swore when I moved out of that horrid apartment in Stevens Point, that I would never again have to use my oven to heat my apartment.

This is so wrong. It's sad that our landlord considers this to be an adequet temperature. Course, what does he care if I'm freezing. He lives in a nice WARM condo some where crime-free, roach-free, rat-free and clean.

03:10 on October 25, 2001 image
Yucky, Itchy

Ack. I am sick. My ears itch way deep down in the depths of my brain, my throat feels like I have brillo in it and my belly is practicing for a career in the circus.

Daniel has a way of always being gone when I am sick. Which i guess is good for him. But right now, nothing would be better than having him bring me a bowl of veggie soup with dumplings while I rested in bed.

01:10 on October 14, 2001 image
Outside My Window

It's quiet in the apartment, except for the sounds of rain.

As I listen to tires moving across wet pavement, I wonder where the cars are going. I imagine them full of friends, smiling, laughing, as they head for some interesting destination.

I find myself wishing I too had some place to be.

Instead, I listen to the rain, the tires, the voices in the alley and wish I was anywhere but here.

06:10 on October 13, 2001 image
Cold. So Cold

If hell ever freezes over, I bet this is what it would feel like!

Why do I always live in apartments where I have no control over the heat? It was 37 degrees last night and the landlord hasn't turned on the heat!

So cold. I may crawl inside the oven for warmth.

12:10 on October 5, 2001 image