Humid as a swamp, the temperature rising, like a steam room coming to life. Yesterday was similar, hard to breathe, the edge of hot, but that was mid-afternoon in the heat of the day. This morning, we’re just getting started. “Can we turn off the AC for a few days? I’d rather be hot than cut off from the world.” This was me speaking last evening as the temperature hovered just above our thermostat setting of seventy-eight degrees. The AC’s been on for ten days.
Last summer, past years, we sucked it up. We let our house heat up each day to the point of discomfort. Doors open, leaving the impression of a much larger house. The back screened porch our favorite room. And then, each night, the weather broke. Evening struck with a cool breeze, and with the aid of the house-fan we installed five years ago, we cooled things down to sleeping comfort. This year, the doors and the AC unit become a barrier. A thermocline between dry and cool, and hot and wet. We’re trapped in the house.
The forecast today is ninety-five, far beyond discomfort. Millions trapped without cool air, hobbled with headaches, their brains slowly baking, trips to Walmart for relief. Or a baby pool on the side lawn to soak their feet, braving mosquito bites and West Nile for an iota of reprieve. We all sweat, relaxing into our morning routines, I’m writing, Susan is planning her week. Sophie and Eli, watching Netflix on their phones. Ceiling fans spinning, simply pushing around the damp, warm air. We sit, counting the minutes until we give in once again. We’ll close up the house, and fire up the AC.