Hot Summer Heat

Posted by admin - 01/07/10 at 11:07 am

By the third step out the front door a growing bead of sweat gathered just above his eye.

It began its lazy journey downward, around the eyebrow, through the valleys of the cat’s claw and onto the soft skin of the cheek above the beard line.  By that time, other traveling beads joined it, a slow, steady flow that continued onto his neck.

He wiped his temple and shook the drops from his fingers.  “Phew,” he thought. “It’s ridiculously hot.”  He crossed the parking lot to his car, turned the key and opened the door.  The furnace blast from within caught him by surprise, caused him to step back.

As quickly as possible he started the engine, rolled down the windows, threw the air conditioning on full and tried to ignore the hot vinyl that seared his back only to convert into a thin sheen of perspiration that made his shirt cling to him like a wet rag.  Even the steering wheel singed his palm.  “Disgusting,” he spat to himself. “I’m nothing but a sweat ball.”  The outside temperature read 97.

In due course, the cool flow made the drive bearable and allowed him to take his focus briefly away from his soiled clothes.  He gazed through the windshield at the outer world as if it were a movie passing by in slow motion, trees, lawns, houses, the occasional gathering of children jumping in and out of a sprinkler.  The steam hung above the asphalt like a low-hanging fog bank.

The whole neighborhood seemed tinged with a slight haze, a pea soup humidity so thick you could taste it in the filtered stream of air that blew on him through the vents on the dashboard.

“When will it end?” he complained inwardly. “How much of this can we take?  Day fifty-something with the heat index over 100—not a new record though painfully close.  He felt for those who worked under that torrid sun.  “How do they even do it?” he wondered, though only for an instant.  “How has anyone stood it for the past several millennium before the advent of A/C?”

A smile began to shape his lips.

He fought the urge to resist it and let his countenance lighten gently, a gradual shift from woe-is-me to life-ain’t-so-bad, that transition that so many of us want yet deny ourselves in the face of this or that natural circumstance, a momentary challenge or unpleasant exchange.  He passed a utility truck and watched a man in orange overalls take off his helmet and mop his forehead.

He waved.  The man grinned and waved back.  He glanced upward at the hanging ball of fire and winced at its intensity.  This time, it didn’t break his smile.

That’s A View From The Ridge…

2 Responses to “Hot Summer Heat”

  1. Sue says:
    July 2nd, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Ahhh….. Summer and the stillness of the heat.

  2. Kerry says:
    July 2nd, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    After spending some time in Thailand myself I know exactly what you mean. The people are blessed with a happiness which is difficult to explain despite their, often difficult adversity. I am with you, smiling at everyone, and then maybe it will spread like a virus.

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