The Super Glue Skin Care Treatment

In a bit less than two weeks I fly off to the Antarctic. I had looked at it as yet another job, albeit a cold and unique one, but the more I read the more I get the sense that Antarctica is truly a place out of time. One thing that crops up in account after account is that no matter how brutalized and psychologically traumatized the solitude and darkness of the Antarctic winter leaves them, no matter how vehemently they proclaim that they will never come back to the ice, something draws them back. I am looking forward to seeing if this unique attraction also infects me. The whole thing still feels preposterous; that I would leave my little house in Brooklyn in the hands of my quintessential bachelor friend Alex and fly hemispheres away to freeze and film. Yesterday and today it was over 100 degrees F here in Red Hook, with massive humidity that made it feel much hotter and closer than similar and greater temperatures felt in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in May (see photo of me in bulletproof vest on the airfield there a few postings ago). It is almost impossible to get anything done. My most Luddite and environmentalist friends admit to purchasing air conditioners. So far I haven't, but productivity has suffered as I lie on my bed under the ceiling fan barely able to move. I can't even dial the phone, it seems such a sweaty chore.

Emails about the upcoming trip keep arriving. Anne, my good friend and the director of the film we will make, today forwarded on an email from one of the subjects of the film, hinting at the strange dynamics that we will be dealing with. He sends along the advice that we should bring Super Glue. It is useful for cementing together deep cracks in the skin of the fingertips and thumbs, caused by extreme dry and cold conditions. He is kind enough to specify in his email that we men must be careful to let the Super Glue dry before going for a piss: "The cracks are deep enough to become infected so they can be painful. If you shoot super glue into the cracks it takes care of the problem. Please warn Rich and Sylvestre [I'm Richard, Sylvestre is the cameraman I will be working with] that they need to avoid the super glue treatment immediately before using the can." Meanwhile here in Brooklyn, because I am constantly sweating in the heat, my fingers are wrinkled and moist, as if I had spent much too long in the Sauna.

More and more gear that I have ordered keeps arriving in the mail. Tonite my friend Joseph brought over some ballistic overmittens that I ordered and had sent to his business address. We tried them on and agreed they were absurdly toasty and drank wine and discussed one of our favorite topics, the inability of women to recognize their own irrational behaviour in the moment (we agreed that apologies for prior madness are generally forthcoming after the fact but that in the midst of an unexplained and inexplicable tantrum women never concede that anything untoward is happening...) I rather wish, now that I have understood that Antarctica is completely out of this world, as far away as the moon, or Mars, that I was there already. At the moment I could benefit from that kind of distance.

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