Like the rest of the middle bits of the U.S., we have endured a heat wave the last month or so. I don’t do well in the heat. I recoil from the burning sun, rubbing exposed skin that prickles painfully after only a few minutes. The sun beats into my brain and sears my eyes and leaves me confused and over-stimulated, my stomach clenching like I’ve been punched. I can’t find sunglasses dark enough to stop squinting, and my head throbs at the invasion. I long for a dim, cool place to hide until the wicked day-star passes. Gray, rainy days are a blessing. Clearly I am descended from some sort of troll.
The air conditioner can’t keep up. We have oscillating fans on all day long, even early in the morning when it’s a mere 75 humid degrees outside. Our bedrooms are on the second floor, and we are seriously considering bringing our mattresses downstairs. Even at night, fans spinning frantically, we lie awake and flop uncomfortably, the cool air simply not reaching us upstairs.
The Podling has been on antibiotics for a week. Yesterday he sprouted a fever, right below the cut-off for a doctor’s visit. So far, no other symptoms, but now I’m feeling poorly. Mr. Cranky-face must go to work, so the kids and I must do the best we can. So far the little Peanut seems unaffected, but I sit in dread that the virus (?) turns out to be a stomach flu. (I do not do well dealing with the flu myself, or caring for people with it. I am a sympathetic vomiter.)
It is another scorching, unbearably hot day today. The official high temperature is predicted to be 100, though every day we have blazed past the predicted high. The light was too much at 6:30 this morning, and it will only get brighter. Last week the children tore down the curtain rods, bending them into irreparable, cthulhuoid shapes, so the living room is even brighter.
I need distractions. I need darkness and mystery and history intertwined, layered with personal connections. I need to feel there is something more to this world than these petty details I struggle with, the weather and human frailty and my own shortcomings. Today I need something besides cheerful, musical high schoolers or fairy-tale towns or peculiarly perceptive detectives.
I need ghost stories.