Summer heat


It has been very hot in Providence this summer.  This week was pretty awful: mid-90s, high humidity. The air was like the water in a dirty aquarium: warm, and thick, and most likely toxic. Yesterday morning, walking to work, I was sweating like a Teamster. I was carrying a blue-covered library book, and when I got to work I found that it had left blue dye all over my lovely rose-pink shirt. At one point downtown I realized that the temperature inside my body was almost the same as the temperature outside my body; I had the creepy feeling that I didn’t know where my body left off and the outside world began.



I know, however, that we have it easy compared to other parts of the country. We haven’t had any really horrible storms (although lightning did strike our building a while back). We are not spontaneously combusting, like Colorado. We are not getting flash floods, like Arizona.



Still, it’s pretty icky and nasty here.



I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, green and mild, where 80 degrees was considered steamy. (On my first trip to the Northwest with Partner in 2001, we were in Seattle during a (mild) heatwave – mid-80s! – and everyone was apologizing to us for the heat.) Then I came here, to Southern New England, where the winters are bitter and the summers are ferocious, and I suffer every day. (Except during the long beautiful autumn and the brief gorgeous spring.)



I take it easy on these hot days. I drink lots of water and move slowly. (Last summer, I nearly dehydrated myself on a hot summer day, and came close to collapsing. I will not do that again.) On Monday, one of my student employees, an athlete in training, overdid it during an afternoon workout; he spent the evening retching and the next day recuperating. (I told him to hydrate and not overexert himself. These kids don’t listen to me. I lectured him on this yesterday, and he heard me out very meekly, but I doubt that he’s learned his lesson.)



Global warming? Oh, wait, we call it “climate change” now. Nah. Couldn’t be.



As I said to Apollonia the other day: this is good practice for Hell, when we finally get there.



From the Book of Jonah, Chapter Four (King James Version, naturally):



So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. 

And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. 

But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. 

And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. 



Speaking for myself: I would be exceeding glad of a gourd right about now.




About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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