For a time, I thought I could live without a working air conditioner, but eventually I caved and had an AC installation in Queens. Years ago, my air conditioner broke, and I didn’t bother to get it fixed. I didn’t like paying for the extra energy to run it in the summer, and I thought that it was unnecessary, and that I could just keep myself cool with fans, water, and ice. This way of thinking made every summer like living on the sun. I would dread looking at the weather report, because it would mean another hot day that I couldn’t stand.

I was able to last for a while, as there were some days when the temperature wasn’t that bad, but on some days, the temperature climbed to nearly 100 degrees in my home. Running every fan imaginable wouldn’t have done anything to combat those temperatures, because …