Tuesday, July 26, 2011
on a night like this, when a heat wave arrives, nothing else to do but turn off the big lights and sit in semi darkness on the porch, the painful intensity of normal lighting banished in order to try and fool our brains into at least thinking we feel a bit cooler.
the dogs stretch out motionless on the wooden floor, too hot to lie on their beds, wag their tails, lick our hands, nudge our arms or nuzzle us with their noses—poor things—as the heat closes over our heads and seems to suck away our oxygen supply. dogs and humans remain still, almost smothered in a state like catatonia, the heat forcing us into dormancy, slowly breathing in and out, an effort which, fortunately, is involuntary or else we might opt to cease doing it at all.
we reluctantly leave our seats to peer inside the refrigerator and the freezer, hopeful that cold beers or a splash of ice cubes in lemonade, iced tea or a mixture of both (thank you arnold palmer), will offer some relief. we place a bucket of water out for the dogs, but they can barely be bothered to open their eyes, let alone their mouths, to look at what we're doing.
we humans on the porch are such wimps, unable to take the heat. our anglo-saxon northern european roots hide deep within our cells and tonight they cry out and expose us for what we are. our body's ancient programming is searching for a way to cool-off, a gene pool's primal urge for self-preservation.
in the middle of the heat wave three of my husband's friends from new jersey roar up the driveway on harley's, having completed their road trip to prince edward island. we welcome them to our "bed and breakfast." we were going to fire up the barbecue grill, but the heat forces us to abandon that plan and escape indoors to gritty's air-conditioned pub for dinner.
later in the evening, back on the porch again, the night cools down into the 70's. by 11 o'clock our dna finally relaxes and feels at home again in our bodies.