Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I lied.

Yes, I'm going to say a few words about the heat. I simply can't help myself.

The high temperature here on Monday was 105 degrees. I don't think I can set my toaster as high as 105. And we're not enjoying what you've heard of referred to as a dry heat. Dry heat is what they claim to have in New Mexico and other desert states, and it will turn you into an applehead doll right quick. Here, we have moist heat--the kind that will keep you young and soft and supple-looking, while giving you a diaper rash behind the knees.

We may be used to hot, but not this kind of hot. When the mercury inches up past the 90 degree mark on a typical summer day, we all just crank everything down a notch or two and try to move... as... slowly... as... possible. That seems to help us cope somewhat, while simultaneously contributing to our well-known, easy-going Southern charm.

But this weather right here is Armageddon-style hot. There is no slowing down enough to get around this kind of miserable. And yet the world just keeps on spinning. Deals must be done. I've been plodding along miserably to the next meeting, trying to pretend I can't smell my neighbor.

This heat is affecting everyone.

It's been days since I've seen a mashed critter on the road. In fact, I've noticed a dearth of the usual animal life along the highway; I've seen no kamikaze turtles, no roaming packs of chihuahua dogs. And not a single bird. You can say "birdbrain," all you like, you won't catch a robin or blue jay all trussed up in slacks and a jacket, flitting about at midday. When the weather gets this hot and still, the beasts of the wood find themselves a cool spot and they lay the hell down. And they're smart enough to stay down, moving only when the shade moves.

Which makes them a damn sight smarter than their two-legged counterparts, whom I'm still seeing every morning and afternoon, jogging alongside what must feel to them to be the literal, melting road to hell.

I guess they just can't help themselves.
photo, Tatyana Bolshakova

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

From someone who has seen both sides of the tracks and happens to like the side where she currently resides: I'll thank you to remember that even apples eventually climatize to the New Mexico desert and enjoy the hell out of living here, away from all the swamps you have back in Arkansas. Oh yes, we have joggers here too, but they can run comfortably right up until noon.

Jane who? said...

This would be from my mother. It should be noted that she bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to an applehead doll, regardless of her geographical location.

Sorry Moms.