Monday, May 19, 2008

Toasted Air

The title of this post is borrowed from the first line of the haiku I wrote yesterday for Monday Poetry Train. The art print I found to go with it features a campfire and that is the perfect analogy to what the last several days have been like. Like standing too close to a campfire where the air itself singes your skin and the inside of your nose and inhaling its smoke is unavoidable.

The smoke isn't imagination induced by an over-extended metaphor. They (not sure who this they is the other theys mean but it sounds like an officially sanctioned activity) have been doing something called a controlled burn in the hills west of us and the smoke from it, no different from the smoke of a forest fire, has been suffusing the valley, adding to the misery and the sense that each breath is a weight to be lifted.

As a response to the heat, we bought a new fan to replace the small stationary two-speed fan we had. The new one is about nine or ten inches in diameter to the old ones six. It has three speeds and oscillates. Its relief now reaches me as I sit at the laptop on the edge of the bed.

A second line of defense was to get rid of my hair. It had nearly reached my collar bones again from the jaw length cut I'd got in February or early March. I have very thick hair and it is like a blanket. A blanket that can stay sweat-soaked around the clock!

I described Rachel Maddow's hair to the hairstylist as best I could--about inch and a half on top, tapered down the sides and back, off the ears and off the neck. What I got isn't a perfect copy of Rachel's, which I had been looking at with increasing envy every time she showed up on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olberman lately, but it is close. Though I can't carry it off as well as she can. She has much that I don't have and I much that she doesn't. She has the poise and grace and youth. I have a hundred pounds over her--at least.

Today only reached the mid nineties. A slight relief after three days near or over 100 degrees F.

What seems imaginary is the snow we got last month!

They (yet different theys) say we should only see mid eighties tomorrow and possibly seventies. And then Wednesday might sink back into the sixties! Which means the next time it shoots back up will probably be just as miserable as this time as it takes several days to acclimate. It typically takes me a week of temps above 87 to start finding a sense of normality and feeling any sense of energy to go with whatever ambition hasn't melted.

Today, I did manage to spend hours with my hands hovered over the toasty warm keyboard of my laptop in order to get my Friday Snippet finished and pasted into the shell I put up Friday. That was accomplished less than an hour ago and as soon as this is posted I'll be free to pick up The Historian for awhile.

Tomorrow I plan to dedicate to catching up on over a week of meme visits.

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