THEY’RE WRONG. IT IS THE HEAT.

When my little sprite, Laurel, offered to let me stay in her condo in Vegas, I was thrilled. I still am. I don’t know where I would have been for the last three months without her generosity.

But it’s only May, and Vegas is damned hot. It’s 88 degrees in the condo. Has been for 4 days. Before that, it was 84 degrees for about three weeks. That’s insane. Opening the doors and windows doesn’t help because though there’s a great breeze wafting through the center of the condo complex, it only whirls in circles and doesn’t get into the units. So it only teases us. I left the door open last night hoping to bring the temperature down, and it plummeted to 86. The maintenance guy said he’d be here first thing this morning, but he’s not even taking my calls.

I came SO close to wrapping a beach towel around myself at about 3am and easing myself into the swimming pool when no one would notice. Yup, I was awake at 3am. I can’t sleep when it’s this hot. Haven’t had more than 3-4 hours sleep in many, many nights.

But today, I have to stay at the condo because I’m down to paperwork that has to be spread out and stuff that requires the printer. So I’m guzzling my frozen water like crazy and hoping to stay hydrated. But the worst part is being out of vanilla frozen yogurt and strawberries — they were finished off at about 2am. It’s all I want to eat anymore — 3 meals a day. That will be rectified when I have to go out later today to fax some stuff at the rent-a-mail-box place, go to T-Mobile to see how many gigga-thingies I have left on my wireless card, visit Kenny G. and make a trip to Walmart’s frozen food section…. where I may just push all the food aside, close myself in one of the containers and see if anyone notices.

It really is the heat. And now I understand why my counterparts who lived in Phoenix when I was with McBee Systems said they could only work till noon in the summer and spent the afternoons in the office (I’m betting they spent the afternoons at home in their pools).

I’ve already taken my first cold (cold, really cold) shower of the day to bring my body temp down, and it will be one of many. Haven’t had dry hair in days…..but the plants were all watered on Saturday, and they’re dry as a bone now.

The funny thing is that I kinda like Vegas. The people are genuinely friendly. And helpful. And funny. And in Laurel’s part of town, North of Palace Station and the Rio, everything I need is within about 2 miles. If I weren’t driving to LA once a week, I could probably make it a month without buying gas. And there are direct flights from Vegas to just about every airport in the country. I mean, I’ve met people who fly up here once a week, every week, just to spend their day off.

When I ask locals how they handle the heat and why they live in Vegas, they say they love it — tried moving away, but came back. I guess the dry heat is an acquired taste. So whenever the next person makes the comment to me that dry heat is better, or I go east of here and someone throws out “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” I’m probably going to bitch slap them.

I’m an East Coast girl. I was raised on humidity. And since some of the other states I’ve lived in are Ohio, Nebraska and Oklahoma, we’re friends. I know it well. And I know how to handle it. After about a hundred years in sales, I’m used to carrying frozen bottles of water in my car in a thermal case — I put a bottle behind my neck to keep my body temp down, and as it melts, I drink it — so much colder than a regular out-of-the-cooler-at-Target water. Frozen washcloths work, too.

But having lived in California for the last 6 years, my body’s expectations have changed. Or I thought they had. When I went back to Myrtle Beach last summer to meet up with some old high school buddies, everyone ragged me about how much the humidity was going to bother me. Didn’t even slow me down. I complained less than the others who lived there. Guess my body felt at home. Oh, and I remember how to Shag.

For now, I think I’ll take another cold shower and lie down on the couch to try to get some sleep — it’s under a ceiling fan — and hope the maintenance guy shows up. So far, there’s no sign of his crew in the complex, and they’re usually all over the place by now.

If someone wants to freeze a blanket and bring it over, I would SO owe you big time.

Sleeping in the pool tonight. If I get arrested for really indecent exposure and scarring some poor kid for life, your phone may ring.

More tomorrow…..