It’s hot here in DC-really hot. It’s so hot nobody goes outside. Moms take their kids to the movies, or day camp, or a friend’s house. When they get in the car they have to wait for the air conditioner to cool it enough just to sit. The seats are like a stove top. Within minutes their sweaty thighs are sliding all over the vinyl, their brows damp. They need juice, or something. Mom is sweating too, even with the AC on full blast.
Commuters idle at stoplights, listening to NPR, sweltering through the news. The lights are long, just like the days. Mornings are like an oven, but when the sun goes down it’s a sauna. The whole town is baking, brains are basting in all the bad news; the oil spill, Afghanistan, unemployment, Barack Obama-superman, super HOT! Michelle wore a cute top on the 4th, red, white and blue-what else!
The animals know just what to do—nothing. The dog barely touches breakfast and lies on the tile floor all day, answering to no one. The cats- well, the cats get looonnnggg on the dining room table, making as much room as possible between all the hairs of their fur coats.
Transformers are popping all over. The power company is knocking on doors. “Do you have electricity?” The air conditioner is back on-thank God. This is a gift. After a day and a half, it mysteriously switched on in the middle of the night, as if by divine intercession.
“Thou shalt have AIR.”
The flowers stand in silent, heat induced shock. Valiant efforts with the garden hose keep them upright. Rain is a foreign concept. I think I remember what it was like…maybe.
The sky is a relentless blue, the sun unceasing, the clouds few and far between. The breeze is welcome, even if it feels like opening the oven door- at least it’s moving.
As evening approaches, the crickets chime in on cue. July flies don’t hold back. It’s their time. “Screeeeee, Screeeeeeeee!” The mosquitoes are undaunted. Business as usual.
We give up on the patio and eat supper inside. Not much- a cold salmon salad. It occurs to us that the elements are winning, once again. Six months ago, it was four feet of snow outside our door, the car encased in ice, the road impassable, the furnace groaning to keep up with the mercury dive. Same song, second verse… a little bit louder, a little bit… worse? Can’t say for sure. Check back January.