13 Degrees

Japanese MacaqueIt’s cold.

It’s really cold.

Inside. Indoors. In my room.

There are 13 degrees Celsius. At least this is what the sensor in my smartphone says: the inner temperature is 13 degrees C. I’ve just checked my e-mail on the phone. So, it could be even colder. 12 degrees maybe…

Doesn’t matter.

I am witnessing natural selection. People’s natural selection. The birds are for long gone in Africa. They can fly. The furry-wooly animals have no problem. But we, the people, do.

We, the People

Romania is freezing. We had negative temperatures for a couple of nights in the row already. And there is no heat.

The heat comes from The State. The state-owned company. The State doesn’t care. The people acting in the name of the State, to be precise. People like you and me.
They don’t care if one of the biggest cities in the country freezes. Big sh*t! There will be elections in one week’s time. Doesn’t matter. My city is known also by the name of “the Red City”. Why? Because during the last 25 years it voted for the red socialist parties. Without exception. No matter the government, my city always votes the Left. As if Left would mean social protection, care for the citizen, etc. Are you kidding me? Left, Center, Right – they are all the same. Makes no difference.

It’s cold.
I can hear the wind outside. I can see the branches of the tree next to my window dangerously hitting the glass. The sound of the wind recalls wolves howling from a long forgotten movie…  It’s loneliness and sadness and emptiness…

I see my fingers crippled on the keyboard of my computer. Shades of bluish-purple have appeared at their top. I write a sentence and them I hide my hands under my bottom or between my legs. To keep them warm. And to think about the next sentence. To make it as short as possible.

The furniture is making some strange noises. It got warmer in the room, so the wood is getting a bit more relaxed. It’s like some unseen ghosts are searching through my clothes and reading my books on the shelves. It must be warmer, at least one more degree…

Nah… It’s 13,5 degrees C on my phone. Perhaps it got warmer sitting next to me…

I close my eyes.
Enough. I must rest my eyes.

I have an eye problem that lasts for 2 months now. Some sort of conjunctivitis that nobody can say where it came from and what it is. This prevents me from doing pretty much everything. I’ve already heard a book (audiobook) instead of reading it. I listened to many CDs. Music and music and music… In an intelligent move, I reversed the air conditioning system so as to produce heat instead of cool air. The result was “unforeseeable”. The hot air went upwards near the ceiling and the cool air remained with us, near the floor. But it dried the atmosphere, including my suffering eyes.

It wasn’t smart.

Found another solution. While writing this text, my computer is defragmenting its hardware. When it will be over, I will request an antivirus scan. This produces heat. Not much, but enough to induce a positive placebo suggestion that it is getting warmer.
That’s all I need.
That’s all we Romanians need: hope, illusions, cheap tricks to make us vote for the politician who offers a bottle of oil and a kilogram of sugar or flour for our vote. This is our price.

Being suddenly aware of this makes me angry. Good, perhaps I will warm myself a bit.

No, it’s gone. I resigned. I am resigned.

The image above is suggestive for what I’m living now. It’s a Japanese macaque. One of those monkeys who spend hours in warm pools. This one is not happy. It’s keeping its hands as if it’s trying to warm them by blowing hot air on them. Judging by its red face, it’s cold.

Just kidding. They do have red faces. Leftists… easy to recognize…

It’s natural selection in action, ladies and gentlemen!… Some people will die in my city these days. I’m lucky to have a home so, even if I’m freezing, I won’t die. But in this cynical world, some people will be left behind. Humanity is a concept taught in school but easily forgotten in this part of the world.

Hours ago, while I was returning from a visit to my ophthalmologist, I went by 2 guys shivering next to some sort of portable stand. There were some magazines and books on it and I understood in fractions of a second that they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were moving from one leg to the other in the middle of the cold wind and, for a moment, I was struck by the insight that they could do a better job helping the homeless people on the streets instead of losing their time next to their stand of useless papers. Thus, they could be more practical. But no, they are concerned about right knowledge, brilliantly avoiding right action.

I believe that every sickness we have bears a symbolic function. Could my eye problems be a somatic (physical) way to say: “Enough! I don’t want to see this anymore!”?

Could be.

When you keep a population in cold, you reduce it to its basic needs. Commonly, the hierarchy of needs is described using the model of Maslow’s Pyramid. One of the rules of the pyramid is the one that says you can’t be preoccupied with a superior level of the pyramid until you secure the inferior level(s). The need for homeostasis (a balanced environment, including temperature) is a basic need at base level. If we experience low temperatures like the monkeys of Japan (the monkey was intentionally chosen for this article), we don’t have time or energy or will to focus on anything else (like safety, love, respect, knowledge or aesthetics). So, we can safely say we’re just like animals. And animals are easy to lead… or train.
And this is exactly the idea…

Further reading on needs, using different frameworks:
The SCARF Model
Berne’s Six Hungers

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