[playing 'misty' on harmonica]

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IMG_6220.JPG"Your air conditioner is 27 years old," said the HVAC guy. "It's going to go soon. I'd run it until it dies, though."

"Not a chance," I replied. "It'll die when I need it most. I'm getting it replaced in the fall."

Naturally, it died a week later.

After 27 years of use, it couldn't make it another month. It died in the middle of a heat wave. The temperature in my house was 93F.

Thus have Fredo and I been living, working, watching TV, playing, sleeping, and eating in my bedroom for a week. That is where the portable unit is, so it's the only place we want to be. Nevertheless, it is like the world's 14th nicest jail cell, right down to the bare light bulb dangling from the ceiling and the blanket I'm using to block the sun.

I'm fine.

• • •

When the AC blew, I had already bought a portable unit. Like the chainsaw at my Metamuville house, it sat in its unopened box, waiting for my fears to prove justified. I was proud of myself for seeing it coming, and I told Mike.

"Greeeeat," he sighed. "The world really needed for your paranoia to be positively reinforced."