The Dude and I suffered through the first wave of heat minus air conditioning. Why? Our neighbours. It became painfully clear through the winter that having say over the central air was somehow in direct proportion to who pays what, not who needs what.
They pay 70%, we pay 30%. That's the lease agreement. So in the winter we managed about 18 degrees Celsius on a good day, and sometimes as low as 14 on a bad day. Why? Because for some reason they'd turn off the heat before leaving the house, even though they were aware I work at home and would be here. Eventually we caught on to them. But yet they'd still do it.
So we had to get a space heater. In order to save literally a few bucks on the gas bill, they had to pay a whopping electric bill since we kept that bad boy plugged in all the time. Fuck man, we were cold.
So when summer rolled around early in its blazing glory and we mentioned the A/C, well, we were informed it gets very cold for them when it's turned on. Ah. And since we can't turn it on without their cooperation, the windows needing to be shut and all that, well, we were screwed. No cool air for us.
Then the extreme heat warning came into effect. Humidity, smog, high temperature, all working together to make life no longer worth living. So I talked to the more reasonable neighbour as soon as she got home from work (also just in from the overwhelming heat) and the A/C went on. Life was good. It would take awhile to cool the place down, but it was on. Even cheap people have their limits.
But then around 11:30 that night we realized we were sweltering. It came on so slowly that it was a hazy realization. Heat, after all, can make you think slow and feel stupid. I crept down to check the central air controls.
The cooling was off. The fan was on, but the cooling was off. Heat rises. They were blowing their hot air up into our apartment. Our windows were closed.
Sometimes you're so mad and so flabbergasted you don't know what to do with yourself. First I laughed and cried in a little ball. Then I wrote what I hoped was a polite letter explaining just what they had done to us. I pleaded for my health, which can't sustain this constant level of heat and humidity, which I can't leave. I asked for an open dialogue about turning the controls on and off. I explained the temperature rises up to 35 degrees in here without the A/C. So far so good.
But it's unsettling living in these uncertain ways with your neighbours.
Smokey's been hanging out by the air vents, sucking up the cool air, just like Jerry used to hang out in the heat vents in the winter. Poor old bastard.