At night, perishin’ hot

Sunday May 11, 2008

I stammered into wakefulness when Graham rang for our goodnight at about 1:15 this morning, then fell back any which way onto the pillow and slept immediately.  At 2:00 there was a long, threatening rumble of thunder across the skies and I woke in an irrational panic.  It had gone on so long, and continued to do so, that I thought it was an earthquake. [We do get earthquakes here, folks.  Nothing special, but how special does an earthquake have to be?]

Time I’d got my brain sorted out I was full awake and conscious that it was beastly hot and humid.  Again.  This low level heatwave has been going on for days and it’s no fun at all.  I feel like a once-pink blancmange at the end of the party, all flopped out and sweaty with failure.

I have all sorts of methods to get through the heat.  Fans.  Icy drinks.  Meditations.  Simple idleness, sitting back and doing nothing until things improve.  Last of all, I can go sit in the car with the a/c jacked up full and the engine idling.  I read somewhere that this is shortly to become illegal.  Pshaw!  The policeman who comes up and remonstrates with me on a hot night is liable to get a nasty shock.  Especially if he’s a young one, all festooned with accoutrement and oozing tastiness.

So, anyway, I got out of bed, made myself an iced coffee, and came up to the computer, throwing the window open wide and running Mozartian cooling music turned down very low.  I thought I’d see the heat of the night away by transferring a few more October 2005 files across.  Sadly, wordpress.com was having a hissy fit and was not available.  It happens, and it surely isn’t the end of the world.

I leaned back in my comfy chair–the most comfortable chair in the house–and pulled a book of poems at random from the bookshelf at my shoulder.  Robert Frost, it turned out to be, and the well-thumbed volume fell open at an old chuckle-worthy favourite:

THE OBJECTION TO BEING STEPPED ON

At the end of the row
I stepped on the toe
of an unemployed hoe.
It rose in offense
And struck me a blow
In the seat of my sense.
It wasn’t to blame
But I called it a name.
And I must say it dealt
Me a blow that I felt
Like malice prepense.
You may call me a fool,
But was there a rule
The weapon should be
Turned into a tool?
And what do we see?
The first tool I step on
Turned into a weapon

–Robert Frost

Ha ho hum!  I chuckled at that, into the dark hours of the morning.  Then I kept on reading with the next poem in the book:

A WISHING WELL

A poet would a-wishing go,
And he wished love were thus and so.
“If but it were,” he said, said he,
“And one thing more that may now be,
This world were good enough for me.”

–Robert Frost

I chuckled over that, too, and would have read on if I’d not been so comfortable, the night cooling, and sleep calling…

I woke in bed, so some semblance of common sense must have seized me during the night.  And when I came back up to the study I had pulled the window closed, so no harm was done, even if I did miss [A] circus day of toy balloons.

The morning was filled with sound of feather dusters and wiping cloths.  I finished with my own ablutions, ending in the shower just in time for the phone to ring, one hour earlier than I’d been told.

“I’ve finished,” he said.  “Come and get me.”

Which is what I did, when I’d dried off.  And it’s still perishin’ hot.

 

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7 responses to “At night, perishin’ hot

  1. John, I’ll remember Robert Frost when our summer comes upon us. He may help.

    He’s such a spare, wryly frugal writer that he helps in any season, Wendy. When he writes of snow, though, you need to wrap up warm to avoid frostbite…. Ah… frostbite!

  2. Oh boy I know I had an encounter with a hoe as such, or perhaps a garden rake. 🙂

    Hot? Our temp was only 98 degrees yesterday but the heat factor hit 104! And my flippin husband was out trimming trees in it! See what procrastination does? They have to be curbside by tomorrow!

    Welcome home Graham!

  3. Done an hour early! goodun.

    I have heard that if you sleep on toweling it absorbs your sweat and is actually cooler.

    Here, in San Francisco, the sun is behind clouds and it may be as high as 50 degrees F.

    Yup, I am cold.

  4. It’s not “hot” here in Arizona yet, but hot will come soon enough. Thanks for the suggestion about sleeping on toweling, Marty … I will pass that along.

    Frost is a favorite of mine. Thanks for reminding me, John.

  5. Nothing like a good heat wave when, after a shower and drying off carefully, you’re wet again as soon as you start pulling on your clothes. A no win situation. If I could stand the sight of me and could be assured no one would come a-visiting, there are times when I’d have been tempted All draperies modestly drawn, of oourse! Don’t want to be responsible for anybody’s nightmares.

  6. i Especially if he’s a young one, all festooned with accoutrement and oozing tastiness.

    Oh gosh, John – I just giggled myself silly.
    Thanks, I really needed a good giggle today.

  7. I c hanged planes at Phoenix airport on my way to Las Vegas a week ago Sunday — temperatures were in the nineties — and Neva says it is not yet “hot” in Arizona! Las Vegas was in the mid-eighties and astonishingly dry. I returned home Friday night (actually early hours Saturday) to 48 degrees with rain in Rhode Island.

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