I live in a land that gets very hot, miserably hot. The tomatoes love it, and I love tomatoes, but it feels like survival here for everyone else.
We are all hiding; under hats, in houses, anywhere with air conditioning. Half of the town runs away when the triple digits first roll in. I run away too, but eventually I get tired of running and in July I resort to popsicles and sprinklers.
Outside, the air hits like a wall, a physical force of heat blasting my face, and that’s in the shade. The flies sleep on the window panes.
I think I like it here in the Summer, surrounded by tired flies and crepe myrtle.
In the mornings I hear the gardeners, mowing and hedging around the neighborhood. Their power tools sing the morning song of upper class suburbia, buzzing in the distance. Sometimes I see them, walking around with white shirts and big sun hats, wielding leaf blowers. They are a holy order. Their lawn mowers mark the time here, whereas church bells declare it in other towns. I love the gardeners. They make everything lovely, they gather the dead and prune and sweep. When they leave, everything is beautiful and the world smells like cut grass.
We shouldn’t even have grass when it’s 110, there’s not enough rain. We should have xeriscapes (I learned that when I worked for the government).
Someday we will run out of water. Then we’ll all have xeriscapes, and there will be no more gardeners. We’ll have to buy some church bells instead.
The future is a sunburn. If I wait outside in the afternoon I can hear the children laughing, jumping into swimming pools two doors down. They’re right to be happy, even in this heat. I decide to declare independence from all the sad endings and fling my arms around the weather and the watering schedules. Summer is glorious.
When you celebrate anything, you thumb your nose at the darkness.
Happiness is a form of courage. ~Holbrook Jackson