It's hot. It's humid. It's summer in Washington.
It reminds me of my circus days, when I traveled around the country in the heat and humidity and the only air conditioning I had was... none. Circus tents get beastly hot in the summer, even when the sidewall is pulled up to let in whatever scanty breeze might be floating around.
I think I was sticky the whole summer for three years running.
On the first circus I ran away with, someone had mounted a little engine -- like a lawn mower engine -- on top of the water wagon and rigged it up to pump the water through a showerhead. That was the shower for those of us who took advantage of the show's version of "room and board." To take a shower, you had to flip the toggle switch to send the water to the showerhead, start the motor, and voila!
There were rules, though. You couldn't take a shower until the animals had been watered (yes, our animals got their water before the people did), you couldn't take a shower before the performers' trailers were filled, you couldn't take a shower until the work was done, and you'd best not take too damn long and use up the water.
Oh, and there weren't any temperature controls on the shower; you showered in the water that came out of the wagon. That might sound pretty awful, but it really wasn't. The water wagon was parked in the hot sun all day. By the time evening rolled around and I got to bathe, the water was delightful. It wasn't hot by any stretch, but it was just warm enough to get you clean and just cold enough to cool you down.
Alas, the one problem -- at least for me -- was the complete lack of privacy. Our little spa had no shower stall or shower curtain, so I wore a bikini top and slightly large cut-offs as my bathing outfit. Then I had to look around and make sure no one was watching while I quickly swabbed my girly parts. Oh well -- it was that or bathe out of the sink in a gas station rest room.
And I did that too, especially when the water ran out before I could take advantage of it. Clean gas stations generally had the best bathrooms, because they were one-holers with locking doors, so I could shuck off my clothes and take my time.
I hit the jackpot in Huntsville, Alabama. (Those of you who have read The Book already know about this.) We were playing next to a high school and had access to the locker rooms. As soon as I heard about that I gathered my towel and toiletries and practically ran into the building. Sure enough, there it was -- a shower room with a row of shower heads. I angled each of them on me, turned them all on at once, and stayed there until my skin turned pruney.