The northeast is in the middle of a heatwave, which isn’t really big news considering we’re also in the middle of July. At lunchtime, I still walk down the three flights of stairs, turn left and walk three blocks to the downtown business district. There’s not much there, but the stretch does me good, even when the heat is in the high 90s with high humidity. Another week, the ozone levels will probably spike, making conditions unbearable. But for now, as long as our wheezing air conditioners hold out, I’m actually enjoying the heat.
I don’t ever remember before liking the heat. I always said I could always put on more clothes to keep warm, but I can only strip down so much to get cool. But now I have a mental context for this heat. It makes me think of a time when I’ll be in Mérida.
Does that statement sound kind of sad and delusional, hopelessly striving and slightly demented? Yes, it sounds like that to me, too. But I’m going to own the statement, and if sometime in the future I look back and laugh at this statement (while furiously attempting to scrub it from the Internet) so be it. These days, I can associate hot, sunny weather with so many good memories, just as I connect a gentle snowstorm and the scent of a fireplace with winters in the Poconos. Also, as I get older, the damp cold of winter and spring get to me more and more, and that’s not such a distant memory. The rays of sun, in short dosages, feel healing somehow.
What gives me pause is that up here, a heatwave lasts maybe a week. And it’s no big deal to air condition the entire house. Even our offices HVAC systems are working well so far. (Jinx!) So far, the most common advice to Mérida’s overheated population is to give up, stay inside and sleep through the afternoon. By the way, today it’s actually 11 degrees hotter in New York than it is in Mérida. Can I get a siesta?