Saturday, July 24, 2010

the british are coming! the british are coming!

Right now as I type this I hear explosions coming from south of here. It sounds like our 4th of July fireworks display or like downtown is being bombed. I've looked online and there's nothing about fireworks and it sounds like the big kind, not the small whizzing ones you buy south of the border, and whatever it is has been going on for about fifteen minutes now. I feel like I should call people something like Paul Revere. Maybe not.

It's been crazy in this city today. I walked to campus around noon and at first it was nice. Except for walking to meetings and work, generally everything I've been doing with support raising has been inside so I'm afraid I haven't seen much sunlight lately. But there was a heat advisory today that I didn't know about and I sat one of my favorite benches on campus and forty minutes later, I felt wrung out. The truth is that I love the heat here. I love the humidity, how it's so thick sometimes, on days like today, and your lungs feel like sponges. It's also true we're using our air conditioning this summer, but I do love being out in it, the way the air suddenly becomes this thing you have to push through, the way pushing through curtains feels. This heat isn't the dry kind, either, the kind that feels like it might catch fire at any second and your skin burns just being out in it. You might feel like you're burning here, but it's a wetter, heavier hot. Think jungles, think submersion. It's oppressive sometimes, too much. But it's also like arms around you, being bundled in. Today the heat index was 107F. That's a little more than 41C.

And on top of that, two of the main water lines in the city burst. The last two days our entire neighborhood was without water because of construction and today we heard that now we have to boil it to drink it. It's a strange feeling. I remember running out of water after hurricanes when we were kids. The power and water would be gone for at least a week after the big ones and though we'd fill the bathtub with water, though we'd go days and days without showers, I can remember it running out and sitting under the elephant ears at my neighbor's house. It never got sun there and so the soil underneath was dark and moist and cool and we'd sit there drinking in the coolness, guzzling warm Dr. Thunder, the whole day passing in a haze.

I joked with my boss over skype the other day that it was good practice for missions in some parts of the world, all this heat and no water. And now that booming a few miles away. Tomorrow I expect I'll wake up and it'll be another hot day but nothing out of the ordinary, just life carrying on as usual. But this isn't bad either--with heat like this, you have to be still and watch and listen.

No comments:

Post a Comment