It was hot in June, hotter in July, and, I hope, the hottest in August. If memory serves, there was only one day in June where the high temperature was under 90 degrees. July ran about the same, but the best waited for August. Monday, our high was a record setting 105 while Tuesday logged in at 103. Add in the humidity and real feel was anywhere from 113 to 120 degrees depending on where you lived. When it’s that hot, the nights don’t cool down much with lows just under 80.
During the day, walking from the air conditioned interior to the outside is like cozying up to a bonfire. The air wraps around your skin much like a blanket sliding sinuously into each pore. Nothing moves, not the trees, not a leaf, not a person and the birds quit their song. The streets are ominously quiet as people hunker down inside their homes going out only when absolutely necessary. Those who work outside move slower, guzzle water, and do the best they can while the sweat rolls, but in quiet defiance keep working. Roads buckle and are closed; people die from the extreme heat.
You wish for rain or even just clouds to block the sun. You wish for anything that would break the unrelenting sameness. You think of things that are cool like crisp iceberg lettuce, ice cream, and sweet ice tea in a sweaty glass with the moisture rolling down the glass. You think of snow in Alaska and watch a rerun of Groundhog Day. That’s cool.
The only goal for the day is to endure and survive. One’s mind stops its relentless search for answers as the body fights to maintain a normal rhythm while adjusting to the temperature. Your stomach roils at the thought of food seeking only liquid and more liquid. And the heat just increases as the day moves on until the sun sets and the heat eases back just a bit offering a temporary relief since tomorrow will bring the same weather. A week progresses with highs above 96 degrees and you remain as still as possible to just endure. There is no regret at things not done since getting through the day and ensuing week is a sufficient goal.
The only comfort is that the days of heat are numbered since in another six or seven weeks, weather will once again be just another word and life will resume. This too will pass. The seasons will march along until you’re back at summer once more. We can only hope that this record breaking summer won’t be repeated next year.