This is a text-chat I had with a female friend recently. Let's call her....Uma.
ME: There's a dogshit smear right outside my front door. Who do I sue?
UMA: If you ever want to feel better about your life, watch Revolutionary Road. Jesus.
ME: Is that with Kate/Leo?
ME: That WAS kind of a bummer.
UMA: Totally. Yet I'm watching it for the second time in three days. I'm oddly fascinated. Good movie, but it's sort of like watching Schindler's Lists twice.
ME: Pretty sure Schindler only had one list, but who's counting?
UMA: Not I.
ME: Get a job.
UMA: I'm looking for work in Austin and Chicago, btw.
ME: Austin supposedly terrific. I will never move to another cold climate, so fuck Chicago.
UMA: There's also Scottsdale.
UMA: Yes, why? Is that a good or bad thing?
ME: I imagine Arizona as...dull. I know it's got nice rocks and shit, but you'll probably be living near strip malls. Plus it's a tad warm there. And white trashy. Isn't it?
UMA: The idea doesn't thrill me. All I can think of is how sunburn gives me the hives. Great _______ school, though, and lots of health spas.
ME: One should steer clear of the sun. I get those hives, too. It's brutal, even the mildest sunburn makes my skin itch like hellfire.
UMA: It's the latest in my ever-morphing condition...I suppose it's better than getting them when I work out, which was the case til last year. I feel for you, mister.
ME: I get them when I work out, too! It's a combo of sweat and heat. On my face especially, which is attractive. It's one of the reasons I hate working out in public: I feel everyone's staring.
UMA: Well, I have chronic urticaria, and it comes in several varieties. They say the workout one, cholenergic uticaria, has to do with changes in core temperature. I get them the WORST in the cold, though...you? I can't believe this! I feel sorry for you!
ME: Cold is fine for me. A cool dry place is best. AC is my friend. Some people are just meant to stay indoors and never move a muscle.
UMA: Hahaha totally. But it feels like you're a prisoner in your own body when you CAN'T, never mind you don't really want to. And yes, it's very attractive. Like smallpox is attractive.
ME: I've only been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis. Never heard of this chronic urticaria.
UMA: It just means chronic hives. Mine are of course "idiopathic," which just means my doctor is lazy. Get this: allergy meds CAUSE me hives! It started happening spontaneously about 10 years ago. I gave up fretting over it and just accepted it. When it first happened I spun into a serious depression. Feeling all out of control of my body, feeling it was going to get worse, etc.
ME: Oy. So our lives are thus: if we don't move and avoid going outside, we're fine. But doing so makes us fat and unattractive and socially inept. But working out makes us 10x MORE unattractive. THAT is known as a catch-22.
UMA: A round robin, if you will. It IS pretty cruel isn't it? And I feel like people either don't believe me or don't get it or something...
ME: People who don't have it DO NOT GET IT.
UMA: Yeah, my ex-husband was super workout man. Now he's all hulky and some crossfit trainer type whose wife is now his workout buddy. Go figure. He SAID he got it, but...
ME: Funny, each time I see you I think you look lovely. I've never noticed it.
UMA: Well, to be fair, I've never jogged in place when we've hung out, but thanks.
ME: Having this shit is a nightmare. It's a constant cycle of upkeep. Creams, etc. I keep first aid gel pads in my freezer to press against my forehead when I get too warm, which is often.
UMA: Oh, wow. So you just get them when you get hot?
ME: Heat is not my friend. I sit on the subway and stare at people with perfectly smooth glowing skin. And I feel intense empathy/sympathy for people with bad blemishes and skin disorders.
UMA: Yes, definitely. People judge it like it's their fault or something. Are you always in some state of inflammation? Is it actual hives or some other type of rash?
ME: I don't know, but it usually feels like I'm itching. My face especially. It might be psychosomatic. Or just psycho.
UMA: So far, I'm okay when hot or in sun, just not sunburned at any level. The cold one sucks in the winter. My hands, wrists and thighs get covered in hives. Feet, too. It's actually painful.
ME: This talk is making me hard. Weird?
ME: Magic Johnson has HIV and looks like a million bucks. If the humidity is above 60% I turn into a tomato. People run screaming. I had bad hives due to an allergic reaction to meds once. All over my legs, all over my chest. Brutal. I was a kid, but recall it vividly.
UMA: It baaaalows. And LOL to the Magic Johnson remark.
ME: Zat vas a guud vun.