it was hot again today, like it always is. no clouds, no breeze, just heat. i pitied the people i saw walking, the heat waves rolling over them, the rays of the sun beating down on them.

my hands stung with the heat trapped by the steering wheel. the car hummed, working hard to simultaneously accelerate and shove somewhat cool air through the vents on full power. sweat began to bead up on the back of my neck. i sighed.

in the desert of southern california, people have learned not to expect anything less than 100 degrees in september. women can regularly be seen floating into air-conditioned coffee shops or shopping malls in flowy sundresses and pedicure-revealing strappy sandals (having previously learned how to keep their hair from sticking to the sweat on their temples by pushing it back with their sunglasses); men in cargo shorts and sweat-stained baseball caps sulk around slowly as wet patches begin to form on the backs of their t-shirts. the sky whispers a breeze every so often; but, with the help of zero percent humidity, mostly remains as still and as dry as death.

boots & wool are reluctantly pushed to the backs of closets, new year’s resolutions fade to the untouched parts of the mind. spring grins slide down into scowls, brows furrow, skin swells. buried agitations & annoyances surface with triple-digit temperatures. suddenly cold showers are comfortable, & fans don’t seem to spin as fast.

but of course people are prepared for the heat of the summer. while june can often be pleasantly overcast, once the kids are out of school and running around their neighborhoods, the temperature climbs. of course no one is shocked when the mid-august forecast reads 107 degrees. there are no wide eyes, no gasps, no confusion. but when october hits, and the near future of halloween and thanksgiving are in the line of vision, that’s when eyebrows raise and suspicions rise. it’s when the uncomfortable heat lasts much longer than expected that people begin to worry & wonder, and are unable to escape the question: will it be like this forever?


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