Celsius


I have been unable to prove to my own satisfaction that Celsius and Fahrenheit refer to the same sensations of heat and cold. I think of Celsius as somehow cooler, wetter than Fahrenheit, cool and wet like England or Germany, winter in a foreign language. Fahrenheit – I look at it, I can see it must be a German word, like doppelganger or zeitgist, but think of heat and tropical plants, maybe a chilly European insomniac’s dream of weather, so unlike damp stone. I see a panel on a screen, thin pale Slovakians walking across a Celsius plain, in heavy boots and thick furry hats. They walk across the Celsius plains and cross the border into Fahrenheit; their beards drip with melted ice, boots and hats and overcoats drop away and as they cross, the Fahrenheit landscape becomes dense, heavy with vines and snaky undergrowth. The sickle is replaced by machete, pale eyes water and dance in sun-darkened faces, the sleep is heavy, ripe like fruit. Fahrenheit.

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