Contact Kathryn at:

Hiding from the Sunshine

I’m out every morning from about 7:30 a.m. to about 10 a.m., lately at which point the sun becomes so hot I have to go inside. Terry or Herman has to be squirting me with a spray bottle of water, since the MS keeps me from sweating properly.

In case you don’t remember, with my MS, I’m unable to sweat, subsequently when I get overheated, all symptoms of the MS become worse. There’s a point in the heat and humidity when even the cool water being squirted on me isn’t enough. At that point I have to give up and go inside to my cool, air conditioned house.

When I lived in California for all those years pursuing my acting career, because of the dry heat I was able to stay outside more. Additionally, I was ambulatory back then and I would often run along the water’s edge at the beach or even dive in and swim to cool off. The water in the Pacific Ocean along the beach always felt colder than in the east, perhaps because the currents out there.

Whatever the cause, I was able to stand the dry heat out there more easily than I can the humid heat we’ve had here in the east lately.

I loved my job at the West Beach Café where I used to hang out with people like Dennis Hopper and artist Robert Graham and his girlfriend Angelica Huston. The café was on Venice Boulevard where my very first rental house was also.

It was difficult for me to justify juggling my audition schedule with my agent in that I never liked to go into Hollywood during peak sun times where it would be the hottest. In the heat of downtown I would literally wilt.

That last sentiment still rings true today. For instance, I went to physical therapy today, after which Terry and Herman and I tried out a new East Indian restaurant called “Monsoon.” I could feel the heat permeating my van even though the air conditioning was going full blast.

I had to head back up the mountain to the lake shore and my air conditioned house as soon as possible. I was dismayed to find there was no wind movement at the lake either.

See, on our side of the lake (the east shore) there is almost always some wind movement over the water and that helps keep me cool. But this past week or so has been still and hot and humid.

As Herman is typing this and I am sitting next to him, the blinds facing the afternoon sun are drawn shut. Even with the blinds drawn, I can still feel the afternoon sun beating in, in spite of air conditioning running constantly.

So Herman and I are looking towards a high electric bill for AC and I for one am looking for slightly cooler and dryer air so I can be outside, in the sun and once again on my beloved beach.

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site