Sure it’s unbearable, but it’s a dry heat

The summer season is fast approaching, if it isn’t here already. By my reckoning, it is summer because there are far more summer days in the week than winter ones, and very soon the winter echoes will disappear for near a year. (Good riddance.)

Ah well. I love the summer season. Spring is by far my least favorite, and if I can, I skip over it. A poor man’s summer with more dust and allergies. (Achoo.)

Ooh, but I do love summer days. Not just the mild and cloudy ones, but the real ones. The straight stuff; the good stuff. The blue-sky, cloudless stuff with a sun so bright all the shadows melt away. The days where the mirage lines turn to fog, where the asphalt bubbles up and pops beneath your shoes and a tire or two explodes down the street. Seat-belt scalding days, steering-wheel branding days, the car windows magnify the sun and your skin browns before your eyes, you might as well stick yourself on a spit, days. Triple-digit days!

Ooh, but I’m jonesing for summer days of any kind. They may not come often, but I love rainy summer days when the devil is beating his wife and the afternoon thunderstorm rolls over and through in five or 20 minutes without touching the sun, and the sidewalk is still so hot you could swear the water is boiling on the pavement. But somehow it feels pleasant on your bare feet as you look for a stick to drop in the gutter to race your sister/friend/brother/lover and prove whose twig can really float. (“No fair! Mine got stuck under Mr. Tucker’s truck.”) We were born and get older for such days as these.

As I got to be a teenager, I got to be a night owl and found that summer is different, maybe even better, when you get up at 4:30 p.m., piddle away a few hours waking, and go out in time to enjoy the day-done.

Truly, the best moment of summer is when the sun snugs itself down into the horizon and gets that evening breeze blowing. Not a cool breeze, even, but a warm one, like a blanket – velvet – wrapping itself around you. Ooh ooh.

What could be more natural and right than settling down to sleep with the sun?

But more importantly, who in their right mind would waste such weather with sleep?

The desert gets unbearably cold after dark, but not here, not in summer. Eighty-five degrees at midnight. This is God’s country.

I’ve let nostalgia warp my perception of reality, I know, but I like the heat. I drive with the air conditioner turned off and better feel the warmth of summer days gone by. Three months without direction, hassle or worry. The closest friends I’ll ever have in my life, doing nothing but being, laughing, passing.

Summer really isn’t season, time or memory. It’s a place, or an idea of a place, and I enjoy going there, I really do.

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