― Cherie Priest, Dreadful Skin
Why, every summer, is there a plethora of pictures on facebook/twitter/*insert new social media here* of everyone's temperature gauge in their car? You know the ones. Sometimes its the weather channel forecast. Yep, it's gonna be hot. And not what a Minnesotan thinks is hot (because that's what I call cold), but burn-your-skin-off-on-freakin-grass hot. Why such discussion about how hot it is? *GUILTY!* We all know it's summer in Texas, and know it's always this hot, right?
Well, no, we don't know. By the time summer rolls around again, we have packed the memory of last year so far away, with other painful memories. Suppressed. Either that, or our damn brains have melted into a liquid pool in our skulls, susceptible to leaking out of our craniofacial orifices at any time. And maybe it does. Maybe that was line of drips I could not identify in my kitchen last week.
Why must the 7th circle of hades open up at my feet each June thru September? I open my front door to check the mailbox that's only 15 feet away, and a gust seeming of fire singes my eyelashes and eyebrows. Flambe`! Immediately, I feel the sunburn set in (SPF 50 be damned) and by the time I get back inside, I am out-sweating my clinical-strength antiperspirant and only a brisk walk away from a full-blown heat stroke. I don't remember the geography lesson that showed the map of Texas lying smack-dab in the middle of the surface of the sun. Yet, there are certainly pools of molten lava bubbling at my feet and magma-dipped surfaces in my Volkswagen after a quick run into Target.
When the sun goes down, the earth sizzles, still radiating heat and recovering from another brutal, dehydrating day. My water bill is sky-high and my mascara has melted down to the tops of my socks.
The lawns are wilted, there are fried eggs on the sidewalks (ok, not really, but could be), the pools feel more like baths, and lets face it, urine, and the crime rate is up. WHY do we stay here in Texas when I know this is going to happen again next year? I could live in Portland, where Jason says he wants to move, or live in Connecticut where my Italian roots still lie, or in Maine or some other such northern state. Well, in the words of one literary legend:
― John Steinbeck