A heartwarming reunion: student and central heating

A fact about me is that I’m someone who feels extra cold. I grew up in India, and so obviously my body is designed to be able to handle heat as extreme as 110 degrees Fahrenheit and above. As everyone on campus knows, the weather in Poughkeepsie over the last few weeks has been ridiculously unpredictable. It seems almost analogous to my various moods during PMS week. Sometimes I lie in a fetal position and cry for an hour or two. Sometimes I stuff my face with ice cream. Sometimes I desperately seek physical human contact in the form of hugs. Sometimes I hate every human around me. You never know. There was a while when the temperature in Poughkeepsie dipped way below what you’d expect during summer. That was the week I lost it.

I was freezing. F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G. There’s no other way to put it. I was pissed off because suddenly all my well-planned summer outfits were a waste, and my table fan became an obsolete piece of metal that sat in a desolate corner of my room, just gathering dust in the prime summer months of its life. I wasn’t ready to let go of summer just yet, but alas, Mother Nature snatched the beautiful heat away from our grasp.

There was a day when I was just really, really determined to wear a new dress that I’d bought. And so I had to madly jump around in my room to warm up, just so that I could wear the dress and not have my body turn into a goosebump wonderland. And my room, being on the side of Strong that doesn’t get any sun, started feeling like Antarctica. I had to hurriedly change clothes every day so I wouldn’t get frostbite or something else in the process. It was so cold that I dressed like an Eskimo before sleeping so I wouldn’t die of hypothermia at night. I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating, but believe me–I could have tried breeding penguins in my room.

Contrary to how the average Indian would feel, I started craving heat. Heat was the drug that kept me going. Heat was my mission in life. Heat became my love, my pain, my desire, my everything. During those cold days, I’d deliberately walk in the sunlight, in addition to finding tables at the Deece that got huge amounts of sun, to avoid turning into some kind of ice sculpture. I’d try to get even the tiniest ray of sunlight on my skin. I became the opposite of every vampire ever.

I also started gazing longingly at the heater in my room, missing those beautiful days of central heating and not freezing to death. This became my new routine. Every day, my hands would lovingly hover over the heater, waiting for a sign from my beloved, waiting for the day when my room would be graced with its presence again. It was like waiting for my long-lost love to return to me, like some soldier’s wife waiting for her love to return from war (which I feel is a lot of sexist bullshit as women have better things to do than waiting around for men, but I’m trying to make a point here). I was waiting for that fateful day, when my love would come to me and end my misery. Did I mention that I can be very dramatic sometimes?

And then one day, there were signs. I noticed that Strong’s MPR was warm and cozy, as if they’d turned on the heat. But I told myself not to get my hopes up. I noticed that the heating was on in the Misc office that night, but again, that didn’t mean dorms would get heating just yet.

I somehow made it back to my room late that night, avoiding hypothermia and frostbite and goosebumps (you know the gist), and that’s when I heard it. A sound. A beautiful noise coming from the heater: the clanging of pipes. Could it be true? Was this what I thought it was, the sound of my beloved? Did this mean the heating was on? Was the universe sending me a message? Had my long-lost love returned? I gently approached the heater, reminding myself not to expect anything, and turned it on.

And then the miracle happened. Heat. Beautiful heat. It was real. My love had returned. It was the miracle of life, like watching a baby being born. This is how OBGYNs must feel after delivering a baby. It was 2:30 a.m., but all my tiredness from the Misc’s grueling production night (just kidding, the Misc is great! Please join, and don’t judge me for my shameless plug) went away, as I beheld the beauty of central heating.

My room was feeling warm again. Less Antarctica, more New Delhi. I could finally sleep in pajamas instead of my Eskimo clothes and not have a million goosebumps all over me. I was so happy that I was dancing and prancing through the Wellness Corridor of Strong House, trying to find people to share the news with at that strange hour. I did find someone. She laughed at my excitement. Some people just don’t understand true love.

Now that I have been reunited with the love of my life, I shall be able to make it through the upcoming winter without succumbing to hypothermia in my own room. I guess I’ll stop feeling cold, but I’ll never stop being dramatic. Anyway, now I have to go. It’s time to deal with these penguins in my room. They don’t seem to like the heat.

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