Photo 365 #20

Today’s photo post is accompanied by a little piece I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the humid heat of an Iowa summer combined with the indescribable heat of a hot flash.  It’s more an experiment in painting with words than anything else, and I hope I’ve achieved what I set out to do (which is to attempt to convey the misery of having a hot flash in high summer).  Comment away and let me know how I’ve done!


Impressive, no?

I stepped out of my perfectly climate-controlled office and into the baking, oppressive heat of a mid-July afternoon.  It was only one o’clock, yet the heat was oppressive, beating against me like a wave upon the shore.  The humidity was so high you could cut the air with a knife.  And when I got in my car, it was even worse.

Inside my car, the heat wasn’t just oppressive – it was crushing.  It was an elephant on my chest, forcing every ounce of air from my lungs; a wet shroud, clinging to me, refusing to let go.  It was a living, breathing entity, and it wanted me out of its way.

That was when the hot flash hit. I felt the heat bloom like a mushroom cloud, spreading through my body like a backdraft.  Now instead of being merely miserable, I felt like I’d been stranded in the seventh circle of hell.  Beads of sweat dotted my face; my body felt like someone had doused me with a squirt bottle set to fine mist.  I fought even harder for each breath, and my hands stuck to the steering wheel as I headed for the post office.

My car’s air conditioner struggled to cool the stifling air in the cabin, making little headway.  Fortunately, I didn’t have far to go – the post office was just down the street a little way.  I parked in front of the building and waited for traffic to pass before stepping out into the sweltering midday heat.  I was surprised to find that the air I’d found so distressingly heavy only moments before now seemed light and fresh.

Naturally, all this sultriness made my perfectly climate-controlled office feel even colder when I eventually returned, but the chill in the air was a welcome relief from the closeness outside.

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.


9 thoughts on “Photo 365 #20

  1. Penny McDaniel says:

    I can relate! Here in Alabama, the summer heat and humidity can be stifling and when a hot flash hits, it’s like a nuclear explosion going on inside my body. Whew! Fun post! Thanks for sharing.


    • Kay Kauffman says:

      Yes! Exactly! Every time I have a hot flash, I picture a little mushroom cloud because that’s what the sensation reminds me of. I’m glad I’m not the only one to equate hot flashes with nuclear explosions! 😀


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