Just because I couldn’t literally beat the heat, didn’t mean I was going to let the heat beat me. I’m terribly stubborn like that. It was at this point that I devised a masterful plan to beat the heat, not physically, but by employing psychological warfare.
A few hours after my tete-e-tete with the weather, I walked out onto my sunny driveway, wearing a fleece vest and carrying my fire pit. It was brutally hot; the hottest weather this region has seen in 1 million years (according to a local weather blog).
I retreated to my shed for a few pieces of firewood and then inside for the ingredients to make s’mores. Back on the driveway, I lit the kindling as my neighbor came out onto her driveway. She had her hands on her hips in that judgmental way that opinionated people have, before shaking her head and shouting to no one in particular that “morons are everywhere. Everywhere!”
I was undeterred by this elderly messenger of summer; I would not yield to her peer pressure, nor would I yield to the sweat I was beginning to generate from the fire and fleece. I was out to prove a point to summer that it has no bearing on my life. I was going to do it my way.
A few moments later, the fire was raging. My cat stood on the air-conditioned side of the window, acting indifferent to what she was witnessing.
The mailman breezed past.
“What are you doing, man?” he asked.
“Just chilling,” I said. “Just chilling.”
“Seems like the opposite of chilling,” he said.
His point was valid, but he should’ve just minded his own business.
At this point, the sun was becoming annoying. It had taken the high ground in our battle and was quite content on staying there. If a watched pot never boils, a blazing sun never moves in the summer. I was quite sure that some supernatural force had actually picked up the earth and moved it closer to the sun. That was really the only scientific explanation left to describe this weather. I won’t lie; at this point I unzipped my fleece vest a little.
My annoying neighbor returned, this time to ask me if I would kindly consider putting my house on the market. Then she told me to go somewhere I’d rather not repeat before getting into her car and speeding off.
An hour passed, rather slowly I might add. My eyes burned from the sweat pouring into them, but for a moment of solitude, I could almost catch a scent of autumn coming down in the form of cool, Canadian air. In fact, it was just the smell of the trash truck rolling down the street a few feet in front of me. Those things really smell in the summer, I thought to myself.
A slight sense of doom began to overtake me as I realized it was only mid-July and weeks of peak heat still remained. I began to understand why July rhymed with “die,” “why” and “lie.” In June, the novelty of hot weather hasn’t yet destroyed our dreams. By August, we are hardened to the extreme weather. July leaves us feeling like we are serving a life term with no hope for parole.
The heat generated one final, powerful wave, so I put out the fire, threw my fleece vest to the ground and stared at my neighbor who had just returned from her midday BINGO game. “You win,” I shouted to her. “You can have your stupid summer day.”
She smiled and gave me the finger. I went inside to pet my cat.