Thursday, July 21, 2011

On summer heat.

"I can see the sun, but even if I cannot see the sun, I know that it exists. And to know that the sun is there -- that is living." Fydor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Except today, and for the past several days, I can see the sun. I can feel it in the mornings before I am fully awake. The fan on full blast cannot keep up with the sweat my skin produces. I read about Mississippi in an oppressive time and an oppressive heat while I bake homemade Oreos in the kitchen. I imagine I live in a time before air conditioners, before escaping to a cool restaurant was an option, before frozen pizzas from Trader Joe's would have been my dinner. I imagine every summer night feeling like it does right now, two drinks - water and wine, and cookies cooling on the counter. I prop open the window ushering in the most breeze with a block of wood whose origins are a mystery. All I know is, wherever that wood came from, I am so glad it is here. I close my eyes against the breeze, however slight, before I must open the oven to retrieve the cookies before they burn. "If you can smell whatever's in the oven and it smells good, means it's about to burn," a woman in my family once told me.

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