Friday, July 20, 2012

Florida, Again.

Back from the beach always means being comprehensively astonished by the mere fact of green, even if we did go ten 100-degree days, give or take, without rain, give or take. When I was a kid we'd come back to my mother's parched mailbox geraniums; here it's a crabgrass takeover and curling tomatoes. Still: green on green on green, and all this humidity with no breeze to push it anywhere.

We were Boise or Las Vegas to start the month. Now we've come back home, as it were. Ninety degrees. Air you feel you might be able to section off and pocket. North Carolina. That familiar hint of childhood Atlanta. I read in Bill McKibben's Rolling Stone global warming piece that it rained at 109 degrees in Mecca this summer—the hottest-ever recorded downpour. If we're headed there, friends and fans of weather, it'll feel like home, only more so, which will be something nice to consider as the planet chews itself to cinders. Or as we chew it there. Perhaps that's the best way to consider climate change: the winters you remember are gone. The summers you recall are here, but much more brightly lit, the volume turned way up.

Home again, home again. The grass is tall. The weeds are taller. It's too hot to do anything about either. I owe the now-untitled novel on Thursday. This coming Thursday. Six days. There's good air conditioning out here in the shed. Much needed. It vents, of course, into the outside world. Cut and paste your own metaphors here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

So Much.

It rained. A great deal. It is 40 degrees cooler. It is still July. That, for now, friends and fans of weather, is all.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Like Dogs.

104 on the front porch today. 104. I don't know if I've ever seen 104 before. They say there's a cold front coming. They say storms. They say highs in the eighties. It's been 100 for ten days. I don't believe the forecast. I don't believe the radar. It keeps raining everywhere but here. Three nights this week we heard thunder. I don't believe we'll ever see winter again. Or autumn. Or anything but this. The ferns died. The squash died. My farmer brother called to tell me what of his had died. There was a rabbit lying down like a dog beneath our backyard butterfly bush tonight. If anyone needs to know how hot it was, that's the answer: the rabbits were lying down like dogs.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Still Worse.

Here's how much it rained: not enough to connect the dots on the driveway, as my father likes to say. Enough to give us a rainbow. Enough to push the humidity above—gasp—fifty percent. Was it 100? If not, it was close enough to claim it was. It rained ten minutes. Maybe twenty. Nothing got wet but the grass. Hot as hell. Hot tomorrow. My Virginia brother claims 100 on Saturday and Sunday and 80 on Monday, and wants to know what apocalypse awaits us in between. This, I'll tell him, next time we talk. This is the apocalypse. Don't go looking for another one.

It's August. It's highest August in early July. What we'll do when August gets here I do not know.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Patriot Dreams.

Two o'clock in the afternoon: The new porch thermometer says 100 degrees. It also says 34% humidity, but there are storms in the area, so let's hope we can address not one but both of those numbers shortly. Old porch thermometer: taken out by the blackberry popsicle Toad heat wave photoshoot attempt. Ah, fatherhood in the digital age. Ah, analog thermometers. Or would the correct antonym be mechanical? We could play these games all day, buster, and it'd still be brutally awful on my front porch and everywhere the hell else in the 27401 weatherplex. The garden. The lawn. The ferns. The electric bill. Send help. SOS.

The grocery store, in tiny salvation news, did again start stocking the tiny beers. Let us shine light on even the smallest and most occasional of triumphs.

Last night, the Toad stared up into the sky and shouted at the fireworks. Then his attention span lapsed, and he shat himself and ran in circles on the driveway until he fell, skinning both knees. Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Plus Two.

102 on the front porch this afternoon right after we got the Toad down for his nap -- and raining. I've never seen anything like it. We got that five-degree cooldown you get with storms, and then still it was 97. And raining. Half of me wanted to go get him up, show him, treat it like it was snow. Come see this. Remember this. The other half of me won out, thank god. Later the A/C would crash for the second time this weekend. Later I'd be bailing the attic drip pan with lasagna tupperware. Later I'd be showered and ginned up and planning exactly what I'd say to the A/C company who serviced our unit on Thursday, and then came back out Saturday to try to figure out what they'd done. This is how it goes on the Piedmont: Try to fix that which is only half-broken in front of the heat wave, break it for sure and certain in so doing.

Only supposed to be 96 tomorrow. Only. Big storms wanting to roll down out of the mountains again tonight. Each night during all this it's tried to rain. Each night—this afternoon included, if you will—it's largely failed. That Toad nap I wanted to interrupt—it rained for ten minutes.

The dryer's beeping. The Toad was in there today and seems to have reset it. There is the Toad. There is this damn heat. There is the novel, cooking out there in the shed, due for the last time at the end of July. It's July now. There's no coffee in the house. At least I know what I'm doing first thing in the morning. My god in all this furnace do we fall behind.