Something about the heat today feels worse, more oppressive than usual. I have come to the determination that there are different forms of heat; that even when it is the same temperature two days in a row, each day feels different, has its own texture and nuances. Yesterday’s ninety-nine had the slightest of breezes, as if it was laughing at itself and didn’t want to be taken seriously. Today’s ninety-nine is like an airport interrogation – an enclosed room, a seething customs official, an expired passport.
In other words, it’s damn hot.
At seven this morning I stepped outside to get the paper and felt the heat of the day already. I braved it again an hour later, armed with a hose and bucket, determined to get the film of Central Valley dust off our cars. By the time I made my grocery run at ten I was scurrying through the parking lot like a bug – car to store, store to car – as if the sun could be avoided.
It’s too much, this heat.
I had grand plans of running this morning, maybe heading down to the college track and doing a few laps, then going for the ultimate burn by running the bleachers. Of course, to do this, one needs to wake up earlier than seven, and be out the door earlier than eight…
I told Will the other day, I think we’ve had six months of summer.
At least you were gone for a month of it, he replied.
Oh, don’t remind me – lovely little Ireland, where it rained every ten minutes just to remind us that we weren’t in control.
Will takes Baxter for his walk and comes back sweaty. I eat lunch and lay on the bed beneath the AC vent, sucking a piece of ice.
It’s the end of September, the 26th to be exact, and I feel justified in my anger. I’m sick of the two seasons we have here, the hot summer and cool spring. I’d give anything for a good thunderstorm, for leaves turning red and brown, for the chance to wear a scarf. In my garage sit a pair of snow boots, forgotten but hopeful. I walked through a department store last week, running my fingers over sweaters – wool, cashmere, cotton – and felt like crying.
I’m heartened, though; the newspaper predicts a drop to eighty-one by Monday. I allow myself to revel in the deliciousness of that number. Eighty-one means cool mornings, maybe even long-sleeve shirt weather. It means open windows and no air conditioning. It means no more excuses, time to pull out my running shoes.
I can feel it now, that change in the air. Or maybe it’s just the AC, kicking on again.
1 year ago