I’m experiencing climate change. Every night I am a planet that heats up. I won’t use the M-word. I don’t like it. When you use the ‘m’ word people glaze over. They stop listening. I know I used to. I was even on an ABC show last year called Ask the Doctor with a doctor talking about the M thing and I should have listened because then I’d know what’s happening.
But I didn’t pay attention because I didn’t have climate change back then. I think that’s why it’s such a surprise when it happens, because none of us has a clue what the hell is going on.
All I know is that I’m out of eggs. That makes me sad. In the fridge of life I am now an empty carton. I loved my eggs. I make great omelettes. All that’s left in my uterus now is a feather and a post-it note that says, ‘I owe you an egg’.
I don’t sleep, either. I have this wicked insomnia where I’m pretty well awake most of the night. Unfortunately in the cinema of my brain I don’t get to choose the movie. It’s not like Netflix; there’s only one show on. You end up watching the weird shit your subconscious plays, which is a very cheap little short film about how much money you owe, all the things you haven’t done, and how little time you have to do it all. Although the acting is terrible and the script even worse, the tension is overwhelming. And you can’t help but watch it again and again. It seems to be on a loop. The only relief from the film is my personal climate change.
The heating thing is weird. I don’t really understand how it relates to the eggs. But it happens mainly at night. I wake up every half-hour hot. Not just hot. On fire. Like the heat is coming through my head; it’s in my hair, it radiates from the inside out. I think about cutting my hair into one of those practical older-lady styles. I always wondered why women did that. Now I understand. I’ve had to hide the scissors. Because even your fricking hair gets stupid hot.
I don’t think I’ve felt heat like it. As soon as it happens you have to rip off all your clothes. Everything. If this is a hot flush I hope it doesn’t happen at Woolies because I’ll be naked in an instant. It’s not a choice, it’s a reflex. I’ll be the naked woman climbing into the cheese fridge. You’ll find me in there covered in cooling slabs of haloumi. Oh bliss. Naked covered in cold, soft cheese. I fantasise about emptying out my own fridge just so I can use it as my personal climate-control unit.
I think I am awful to sleep with right now. My husband hasn’t said as much but I do hear him whimpering in the night. I constantly seek the cool side of the pillow. Which means I’m auditioning pillows all night. Rejected pillows are hurled from the volcano of my bed, and when they cool, I scramble to gather them. They feel a bit like smooth, cold haloumi. I can’t work out whether I need bedcovers on or off. As soon as I get hot I kick them off.
Kick is the wrong word. I explode them off. My husband shrieks in shock. He’s freezing his nuts off over there, but I don’t care. I’m heartless like that. I notice I have droplets of sweat beading on my forehead, between my breasts. Like I’m lying on a towel at the beach on a 40-degree day. But it’s a cold winter night. I look over the vast continent of my bed and way in the distance I see my husband attempting to huddle under what’s left of the doona. He’s freezing. Lucky him. Just a metre away I am naked, and on fricking fire.
I put the fan on. I’ve have a cold shower. How can two complete temperatures exist in one bed? Then as quickly as I heat, I’m freezing. This is when I steal what’s left of the doona off my husband. This happens every half-hour. Apparently it’s some sort of hormonal change as I move ‘towards’ the M-word.
For my husband it’s more like hypothermia. It’s a medical emergency where his body loses heat faster than it can produce heat. Next time he complains I’ll wrap him in alfoil. Like a spinach roll. I’ve seen them do that on the news when they rescue people who’ve gone missing on long walks in the Blue Mountains. Except he needs a rescue team in the bedroom. I expect he’s almost dead some mornings; he certainly looks it.