Sunday, August 05, 2007

Summer blues

It's been a miserable weekend of unrelenting heat with daytime heat indexes over 105 and the night time index hovering around 90. I can't seem to get the house cool, and no matter how many showers I take, I never really feel clean. Forget April. August is the cruelest month, an oppressive overlord determined to suck all the joy out of a sunny day.

My internal clock is badly messed up right now. Awake and alert in the dark hours, foggy and weary when I should be productive, I can't help but wonder if my body is pushing me away from the worst of the heat. Last night, really just a few hours ago, I went outside, looking for stars and the moon, hoping for a breeze. I saw only clouds and felt only the weight of the air pressing down upon me.

I remember when days and nights like this meant play, splashing in a pool, tending my reddened skin with lotions, and then dancing all night in a sheen of sweat that actually felt good. I'd choose different activities now, but I miss the pleasure that came with accepting the brutality of summer for what it was and making it a good thing. Accepting the smell of a clean body sweating was an earthy form of self love. Choosing a "wet look" hair do because my hair would be drenched anyway was making the best of what was going to happen. Shivering when I touched a drinking glass beaded in sweat to my overly sensitized sun burned skin was a new threshold in sensation.

I'm no longer young, and August just tires me now. Dark circles under my eyes have replaced sunburns, and my hair in its current oh so proper pageboy bob now just wilts. Sitting under the air conditioner, I tried to read Smilla's Sense of Snow, to project myself into the cold, but even imagination failed me. I have been broken and defeated by summer, and all I can do is wait for rain.

summer, heat


Blogger Theresa Williams said...

Lovely writing, Cynthia. And it's been hot here, too. But we got rain and relief today. I hate summer. Bring on the snow!

The word verification for this comment is "anksy."

Well, when it's hot that's how I feel, anksy. Maybe that will be my new word for August.

"And there they were, Cynthia and Theresa, trapped in anksy August..."

August 05, 2007 12:03 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Summer in the South.

It's been brutal here too.

I grew up in Michigan. I really think summer can be worse there. One, you aren't used to it. One day it's ninety and ninety percent humidity. Two, even these days, a lot of people don't have AC.

I remember as a kid laying in bed, a sheen of sweat on my body, going outside at two in the morning and getting no relief, same temp and humidity and no breeze.

August 05, 2007 3:52 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

All the more reason for you to upsticks and come and visit us here in the Pacific Northwest.

We have had no appreciable summer this year at all. It DOES get hot here from time to time, but almost always cools off at night, so that you really need to take a sweater with you wherever you go in summer.

Much prefer this to the heat, humidity, and violent weather of the midwest, though I do miss those hot, sticky nights of my childhood from time to time...

August 05, 2007 6:10 PM  

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