Suntanning and Other Strange Human Behaviors

When I left the house this morning it was 7° Fahrenheit (-14° Celsius), but the snow was melting.  As best I can figure, that means the sunlight was heating the ground by 25° F. (This is of course, rather shockingly, 14° C.  While I usually think Celsius measurement is awkward, having 0° as the freezing point makes some math simple.  Not that subtracting 7 from 32 is hard.  Oh, nevermind.)

In part I suppose I’m a bit offended that the pretty snow is going away.  More prominently, I’m disturbed beyond all reason.  Anyone who knows me probably knows that I’m afraid of the sun, a fear which has not been aided by an inability to stop investigating it’s object.  It also isn’t aided by constant reminders of the sun’s inexorable potency.

Seriously.  I’m nearly never cold, but it was painfully cold.  Meanwhile though it was colder than my freezer, I was surrounded by melting ice, an effect produced by the oblique interactions of a fire so staggeringly far away as to baffle the imagination.

Why do people lie out in the sun?  In the summer when the sunlight is more direct!  Do they not remember what the sunlight does to ice?  Do they imagine that they’ll fare better?

Either way, it disturbs me.  Impresses me too, but disturbs me.

Now I am safely inside.

I do my work at the local library.  It’s marginally more peaceful than my house, and there’s some psychological effect produced by traveling to a designated work space.  The library is where I get the most work done.

Where I sit is beside a window in the lobby.  I can see the service desk from here.  There’s a big sign over it that reads, “How may we help you?”  Don’t be fooled though.  While at least three employees are there at any given time, if you ask for help they’ll direct you to a computer.  In fact it seems that their only task is to direct supplicants to an open computer.

I’m not sure why this takes three of them.

It perhaps reveals my age that I find this entire schema rather ridiculous.  I prefer customer service from a human, even if that human relies on a computer to answer my question.  Going to the computer myself may be “liberated” in some sense, but it’s not liberation from anything particularly burdensome, and it might be liberation into something burdensome: a world in which we are all free to suppose that we never need anyone.

Perhaps I will not live to see that world.  Extreme shy introversion notwithstanding, I hope I refuse to participate if I do see it. The question becomes how to protect my children from it.  Actually, that’s a question that comes up a lot.

Well, I’m out of time again.  Today’s post has gone from morbid to maudlin.  Perhaps tomorrow I will explore words beginning with a different letter.


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