Remember standing on a hot driveway barefooted and poised like a little blue heron?
I do. Feet slow-burning while you squint up the street for the ice-cream truck, or a friend shimmering through the waves on a BMX bike. First you raise a foot, scrape the melting asphalt and gravel on the inside of your other leg, then shift, scrape, back and forth.
Now I keep the house as cold as the Seven-Eleven, and the curtains drawn to unending darkness, but I’m through complaining about any heat. If this planet is warming up we will just have to make the best of it and soldier on now won’t we?
I grew up in Central Florida, with undisputed moisture and heat of the most vigorous recipes, and relied on ceiling fans and pine trees. I do love a crisp dry bed sheet nowadays. I can admit that.
The hottest I can ever remember being in my life was in this town, riding from SoMo to Railroad Square every day and littering this town from stem to spokes with fliers for the Tallahassee Rock Gym, SIDNEY, and whatever humanitarian fundraising scheme we were promoting at the time: burned churches, FPIRG Cultists, lost Bosnians, the Stray Dog Education Society, Dunces Without Borders and whatnot.
500 hot pink fliers bleeding through my backpack and t-shirt would turn my skin the color of a briny red jar of pickled eggs.
Sweat was my calling card, and I called frequently.
Just squint and ride on.