San Francisco: the 9th Circle of Hell

san_francisco_cold_winterDante sets out on quite the spectacular journey in The Divine Comedy. His buddy Virgil leads him through the onion-like trappings of the universe beginning with hell and ending in Paradise. He meets a whole pack of interesting characters on the way, and even talks to a girl!

Dante learns a great many things about the metaphysical world, but this blog post is mostly concerned with the temperature of the 9th circle of hell. For those who haven’t read it, this circle is not a fire pit with little devils poking bare-bummed sinners with pitch forks. It’s frozen solid, and at the very epicenter, Satan is frozen mid-waist, eternally munching on Brutus, Cassius, and Judas in his three mouths. It’s pretty gruesome but not unlike what’s going on in San Francisco this winter.

It’s freezing here. I’m talking walk-in freezer temperatures, the kind of environment conducive to housing animal carcasses and supermodels. At night, I wear all my clothes to bed and still wake up shivering. I go to restaurants and find them cold. I go to church and find it worse. At work, I huddle under a shawl like a widow and pray for the winter to end. My productivity suffers. How can I type if I can’t feel my fingers? How can I be a thought leader if my brain synapses are firing at the pace of cooled weed molasses (is that a thing)?

Some of you may be scoffing. Yes, the temperature is a seemingly mild 44 degrees, but San Francisco’s disgusting secret is that it never gets warm. Buildings are made out of Popsicle sticks and pipe-dreams, devoid of any kind of insulation that would make them inhabitable in temperatures below 60. Heaters were installed mostly for stylistic purposes, if at all, and it seems the average business owner doesn’t believe in turning them on for any reason whatsoever.

The chill sinks into the bones and stays there, making its home where once useful body cells now lie shivering against the walls in despair. In this rendition of hell, Satan is the Zynga dog eternally chewing on 3 members of the Big Four.

Dear Lord when will this end? How many techie geeks do we need to sacrifice? How many hippies? We have too many of both! What quantity of kombucha will save us from the never-ending ice? Just say the word and I’ll see if TaskRabbit can get it for You. Please oh please oh please.

Save us.

If you liked this blog post, you might also like: Notes I Took While Watching Your Date, Hi Everyone! I Changed My Profile Picture, or Watching Dogs Crap and Other Joys of Living in the City.

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16 thoughts on “San Francisco: the 9th Circle of Hell

  1. Emily,
    hope the weather is getting warmer for you! Pretty cold in the UK too – we had snow last week. But as you say it’s the surprise effect – what! super cold in SF? what do I do now? Whilst on this side of the pond we’re all shook up if the sun shines for 3 days in a row.
    Last May we had a decent spell of sunshine and temperatures worthy of early summer. That’s what everybody said: ‘huh, we’ve had our summer now.’ That jinxed it. Summer never came – it ended up being the coldest since metereological records begun
    Enough about the weather. This is a lovely blog and I will enjoy reading more of it.

  2. […] in Boston. My friends make fun of me and I feel silly complaining about the chilliness.  I wrote a blog post about this already, but I’m not sure you knew how much this affects my […]

  3. “the kind of environment conducive to housing animal carcasses and supermodels” Laughed out loud. And not the “lol” kind of laugh that you just type while grinning, but full on cackling. In the office. Thanks 😉

  4. Adam says:

    The sad San Franciscan: I’m colder in my apartment than outdoors.

  5. tomwisk says:

    Cold is relative. It could be 60 below w/ wind chill. Look at the cold as a harbinger of a foggy, damp, kinda warm Spring.

  6. tom says:

    The “City” is a bit over-rated. But the Homeless light fires and night soi you can stop by to warm up.

  7. Audrey says:

    It sounds utterly miserable. Anything like the winters in Cairo? I was just in Israel in November and we had a bit of cold weather sweep into Bethlehem – this poor Washington girl was frozen! Those buildings keep the heat out and that’s about it, and I’m betting SF construction isn’t much different. Should we send blankets?

  8. I know exactly what you mean.

  9. crimsonprose says:

    Living on England’s wind-scoured east coast, I know about cold. But when I tune into to 100.3 the Sound, from LA, and they’re complaining of the cold, I know you USA guys are getting it bad. I recommend placing one of those electric heatpads designed for back injuries betwixt feet and floor. Used to work for me when only a board and a threadbare carpet separated me from the North Sea. Oh, and thermal underwear is good, if not stylish. Then again, every half-hour a mini workout, and oh . . . wish you the best with it. We had snow overnight. It was gone before I had to go out.

Snot Back

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