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!
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.
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