Abigail Braman woke up Monday morning at 7:45 AM and spent several minutes staring at the ceiling contemplating her life decisions before preparing herself for another day of work. Wiping the sleep from her eyes, she reached over to grab her cell phone from her nightstand and deleted the seven to 40 pieces of junk mail (mostly from Williams Sonoma and the Democratic Party) that accumulates in her inbox every night. After doom-scrolling through the President’s latest effort to steal the election, she noticed something unusual. “Oh my god!” said Ms. Braman out loud to herself as she stared at her home screen. “It’s sweater weather!”
The 27-year-old paralegal jolted out of her bed and ran outside to see if it was true. As soon as stepped outside, the crisp air smacked her face. She took a deep breath before getting nervous and putting on her mask. Still, she enjoyed the sounds of birds chirping. Had they always sounded so beautiful? It was 71 degrees in Miami. Today was going to be a wonderful day.
Ms. Braman could hardly contain herself as she searched for the perfect outfit. As she reached toward the back of her closet to search for her winter clothing, she thought about how bad this year had been. The election and the pandemic was bad enough, but Miami also had six months of unbearable heat that brought a deluge of feminine dampness, hair frizz, and mosquito bites with it. But not today.
Abigail dressed in a sleek black long sleeve thermal from Banana Republic that she layered with an opened red flannel jacket from H&M and a green camouflage army jacket, also from Banana Republic. Before she left for work, she grabbed a gray checkered scarf a knitted American flag beanie she bought several years ago for a “girls trip” to New York. As she took one last look at herself in the mirror before she left, she smiled. “You look cute!” she said to herself before taking a selfie of her outfit and texting her mother in Virginia.
On her way to work, she stopped at a Starbucks for a celebratory Peppermint Hot Chocolate. It was 75 degrees. Abigail stood in line and admired the very expensive Canada Goose jacket worn by the woman in front of her. “Starbucks always tastes better in a red cup!” she posted to Twitter while she waited an unreasonably long time for her drink. They had forgotten to put peppermint in it. She considered asking them to remake it but didn’t want to be difficult.
When she arrived at her downtown Miami office at 9:00 AM, it was 79 degrees. The lawyers in the office had been allowed to work from home since March, but since she was only a paralegal she was still required to come to the office.
“Can you believe this weather?” asked a lightly sweating Abigail to the office assistant Nancy Randazzo as she removed her scarf and beanie.
“This is why I live in Miami!” said Abigail through her mask before returning to her desk and pondering, as she often does, whether she should have moved to California with Heather and David after college. “What’s so great about San Francisco anyway?” she thought to herself before scrolling through Heather’s Instagram for 11 minutes.
At noon, Abigail joined Nancy and Javier, one of her firm’s office service workers, for lunch at a nearby Greek restaurant across. They had agreed that the three of them would be a “pod” so they could eat together, but Javier didn’t seem to be taking his pod responsibilities seriously and had developed a sniffle. Still, Abigail didn’t want to be rude and say anything.
During lunch, Nancy gave Abigail and Javier a comprehensive update on the difficulty she was having homeschooling her son and Javier gave a detailed account of the latest infection rates before coughing for several seconds into a napkin and blaming it on his allergies.
The restaurant itself was decent, although more expensive than anticipated. They charged for soda refills, which Abigail felt should have really been mentioned at some point. As she, Nancy, and Javier walked back to their office, it was 84 degrees. “Still sweater weather,” she said to herself as she wiped away a few beads of sweat that developed on her upper lip.
For the next several hours, Abigail alternated between proofreading a long brief for one of her firm’s partners and scrolling through Pinterest for pictures of architecturally significant gingerbread houses. At 3:15 PM, she received a phone call from a lawyer named Steven who asked that she leave the office to pick up a docket of files from the Circuit Court. She redressed in her winter outfit and began to walk the six blocks to the Court. It was 88 degrees.
When she arrived at the courthouse steps, she was out of breath and could feel sweat dripping down her back. Entering the Clerk’s office, she removed her beanie to reveal a mess of oily hair that was half tamped to her head. By the time she left the Court for the return trip, it was 91 degrees. It started to rain down on her when she was a block away from her office.
The rain had dampened the papers she had retrieved from the Court. When she returned to her office, she had a message from Steven: “Abi, it turns out the files were online so I didn’t actually need you to go,” said the message without a thank you or apology. As she settled back at her desk she noticed her own smell. Luckily, she kept a travel-size bottle of baby powder to combat groin sweat, a remedy she was worried may cause cervical cancer but willing to risk it today considering the odor that had developed.
At 5:00 PM she left her office. The temperature had dropped to 89 degrees. As Abigail sat in traffic, she started to once again thumb through Heather’s Instagram. “I can’t believe she didn’t ask me to be a bridesmaid,” said Abigail to herself as she turned her car’s air conditioning higher. “It’s so god damn hot,” she defeatedly admitted.
After an hour and fifteen minutes, Abi arrived at her home. She removed the soaking thermal and flannel she had on all day and placed her jacket back into her closet. As she resigned herself to her couch for the night, she started watching a documentary about the murder of JonBenet Ramsey before deciding to see what The Walking Dead was all about. After two episodes, she didn’t see the big deal and put on a TBS marathon of a Friends re-runs. She fell asleep about halfway through “The One Where Joey and Rachel Kiss with a lollipop in her mouth.”
She woke up at 1:45 AM. aAfter washing a few dishes, she returned to her bed at 2:20 AM. She briefly considered showering but was too tired and decided she would just wash her armpits, neck, thighs, and knees with a wet terrycloth in the morning.
As Abigail Braman plugged in her phone for the night and laid back in her bed she checked the next morning’s weather report:
Low of 87 degrees/High of 92.