I’m not a summer person anymore. Even when I was young, the main reason I liked summer was I didn’t have to go to school. Nowadays, when every season is work season, I prefer the cool clear fall days in late September and October. It was already warm when I woke up. My office gets the morning sun. I spent most of my working day adjusting the window air conditioner. It has a dial that ranges from one to ten, but it seems to either not work or threatens to freeze me until the twenty fifth century. I flipped it on and off, trying to achieve some sort of balance. I can’t say I was successful, but at least I got some exercise.
Daniel doesn’t start summer camp until next week. I felt bad he was left downstairs most of the day – alone – with just snacks and toys and television and the Wii and his Pokemon cards and two magazines. I offered to throw the football around with him at lunchtime, but he declined.
“It’s really hot out,” said Daniel. “And the hot won’t get off your skin.” I knew what he meant. We went out to get something to drink. It was north of ninety by mid afternoon. There was no breeze at all, rare for Belvidere. My hair started to curl up and out as soon as I opened the front door. Daniel sat in the passenger seat and proceeded to turn all the vents towards his face. He was disappointed to discover the air conditioning in the truck isn’t instantaneous.
We had dinner and watched a show together. The sun set around the time Daniel got ready for bed. I made a list for the grocery store. A large anvil cloud, dark purple, hung in the western sky like a mountain. It loomed over the store as I walked in. I wasn’t in there long, but by the time I came out, a gentle rain was falling. People all around me were running past. I took my time however. All the groceries were bagged in plastic and I’m not made of sugar. Actually, it was rather pleasant. The warm rain washed away the heat of the day. I let it soak into my shirt at the shoulders and I could feel it working its way through my tangle of hair.
I stood by the truck until the shower was over; two minutes, maybe three. It didn’t take long for the still air to regain its oppressive nature. But by then, I was in the truck, heading for my air conditioned home.