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A Sydney Summer

Heat wave.

For days, the air has been thick, like soup.

I don’t like it.

The Second Hand Persian Cat doesn’t like it either.

He lies on the square of red concrete in front of the disused fireplace in my room, with warm air from the pedestal fan ruffling his yellow fur. He examines the too-bright, sunlit, world through triangular, ochre-coloured, eyes. Yawns.

I sit on a mattress on the floor, reading books, looking up real-estate, and trying to breathe.

Humidity and a disease like Pulmonary Hypertension do not make for good companions. Unfortunately, it seems like dyspnoea on certain days is just another thing I’ll have to accept about being back in this city. Along with traffic, high rents, and the factor of having friends again who actually like going to night-clubs.

When I lived here as a teenager, this disease was in a merely protozoic form, and humidity didn’t rate a mention.

Back then, Pulmonary Hypertension was a slight shortness of breath that I noticed only when walking too quickly up steep hills, or when ascending two flights of stairs in a row. It was a piece of medical jargon that my seventeen-year-old brain shrugged away. A doctor, one of a long string of doctors I had encountered during a childhood that included multiple heart surgeries, had said Pulmonary Hypertension might bother me a bit at some stage down the track.

Now I know all about Pulmonary Hypertension, and I also know that its more than ‘a bit of a bother.’ Especially when it comes to humidity.

In the steamy tropical North of NSW, last year, I became well acquainted with humidity and its profoundly adverse impacts on my well-being. Its not so much the breathlessness that gets to you, its the fatigue that creeps up, so slowly that you don’t even notice it until, suddenly, you find yourself prostrate on the couch, channel surfing between Oprah and Dr Phil. Blinking square eyes, like any good dole bludger, at the tears and tantrums of Day Time America.

So I chose to come here instead. I knew it would still be humid, but I wanted good bookshops, coffee, and food, and a good University to go along with my daily dose of moisture in the air.

Here, there are tall buildings that crowd my upturned vision with the friendliness of an old growth forest, and the dark night sky is broken by a million tiny, white, lights.

Cities. I love them. I choose them, again and again. And I choose this one, despite its short-comings.

So my life is still about humidity, and it still drives me crazy. Although I’m happy to say that I’m watching far less Dr Phil. I seem to have taken up blogging, instead.

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