variations on hot!

Variations on hot!

Right now, in my home–with a/c–it’s 82 degrees. Yes, I know the A frame looked “cool” when I bought it but it was November, after all. Although science claims heat rises, I swear the cool air in my house rises to the top.

I am sitting here in my undies; my dogs and cats don’t mind. My partner is at work. She’s hot (but that’s another story). I have a rotating fan blowing on me, the ceiling fan on high, and still it is humid. Much worse outside, though! The local news says the heat index is in the 100 – teens, so suddenly 82 doesn’t sound so hot by comparison.

“Feeling an uncomfortable sensation of heat” ~ Thus saith the Oxford American Dictionary. That’s one kind of hot, the kind people usually mean when they say the word.

Sunday in downtown Cincinnati was hot. I was at Fountain Square in the afternoon. It was the annual Pride Day and Festival. LGBT people of all ages and persuasions were strolling the square, hot in their own unique ways. Young lesbian couples, rainbow capes and hair. Drag queens. Clean cut guys, holding hands. Some on the square were not too hot to enter a dance contest.

Hot: “good-looking, sexy, attractive.”

I was just feeling kind of old, tired after a long morning and walking half a mile to the square. Friends and I had been relieved to find chairs in the shade across the street from the Westin and in front of the Human Rights Campaign Fund booth. I had been hot once, wild and energetic in my 20s and 30s in those early years of coming out. Now I’m just her-storic.

Hot: “passionately enthusiastic.” I think of opera—the music and my love for it. My friend Vic once said, “You act like you discovered opera!” I replied, “I did . . . for me!” So much that I took myself to NYC for a Metropolitan Opera Trio—three operas in three days. When I visited San Francisco, I saw an opera. I subscribed to Opera NEWS, bought CDs, learned hungrily of Handel’s countertenors and Verdi’s baritones. I chased a big name mezzo down the streets of Chicago once to let her know how hot she had just been on stage.

I love Indian food. I like it hot, those spices that give new meaning to food and a new adventure for my taste buds. Hot: “consisting of pungent spices or peppers.” I also get urges for Mexican food. Not to mention Thai. Well, that may be the hottest ethnic food of all. I am not a bland meat and potatoes girl though I was raised that way.

Then there’s the definition “angry, indignant, upset.” I accompanied my partner to her metaphysical church. Afterwards, there was a membership meeting—not any ordinary membership meeting for there was to be a vote to keep or get rid of their spiritual leader. During the proceedings, I felt numb, the spectacle unreal. They voted her out. I was sad since I liked Rev. Doris. Later, I got in touch with the anger I felt. Hot. Yes, I felt hot that so many men complained about the Rev. being “tough.” Had it been a male minister, would they have remarked about their leader’s toughness? I think not. It seemed akin to a witch hunt, and I had a sour taste from being a witness. Something was terribly wrong when a group who believed in choosing either fear or love chose to crucify their spiritual leader. I felt the heat rising as I sensed the love dissolving.

Five definitions of hot . . . . .


3 responses to “variations on hot!

  1. ha ha, you are funny as ever, mi amiga Carolyn!

  2. Super cool post, Phebes. I love the listing aspect of the various definitons. I thought it was…well…hot! You inspire me to write a better blog–and by better, I mean interesting stories! I think I’ve just been journaling…keep up your great work, and now I want to read about the rock garden…that opening sentence is too intriguing…Karen Robiscoe, FB pally

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