Early Onset Heat Stroke

Ok so, Singapore. The cleanest, most well organized city I have ever seen. Also, one of the wettest. Wettest, you say? WETT-EST. Let me be clear, Bangkok was humid, expectedly. My jeans slid clean off my hips from the soaked-nature of the fabric and could no longer support their weight. But I knew that was going to happen. I went to Thailand fully aware and prepared for the heat.

Singapore, however, snuck up on me. I spent most of my first day wandering around, warm but not uncomfortable. It was hot, sure, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Somewhere in the middle of the day things changed. In an instant, a cartoon flash, a comic book BANG!, I became overwhelmed with unrelenting, complete saturation. Literally out of nowhere I would find myself dripping sweat off my face – not down, OFF – down my neck, my clavicle, drops raced to make a home in my shirt, ensuring it would adhere to my body as if a cotton exoskeleton. This was quite a surprise given that I was so dehydrated in Denver, I could etch my name in the dry skin on my legs, a condition from which I am yet to recover.

I continued to sweat profusely without explanation for several mid-day hours. My shoulders became greasy and slick and could not support the strap of my bag. I searched drug stores for ancient eastern remedies for hyperhidrosis. I used bits of tissue and napkin to mop my brow and then had to pick soggy bits of paper knots off my face. Most I would get, some I would find melted into my skin hours later; I’d walked the streets of this lovely town with toilet paper freckles.  I would break to drink water, cool off, combat this silent destroyer of my humanity. It was to no avail. I had no choice but stop what I was doing and seek refuge.

I raced back to my hotel to shower and change, freezing the second I hit the frigid air conditioning and started the evaporation process.

Sometimes I buy the cucumbers that come individually wrapped in plastic. Occasionally, I cut one end off and try to shimmy and slide the cuke out of its shrink-wrapped home. I never succeed; it gets stuck, the plastic wrap refusing to budge. That’s exactly what it was like taking my pants off. One cucumber leg at a time.

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