Trickle Down Effect

Here is a pic I took of a garden statute in someone's yard as we were taking too long a walk on too hot a morn.

Drip. Drip. Drip. But not fast. Very slow.

Well, the first drip is slow. It creeps along the bridge ever so reluctantly. You almost feel it, but then you don’t. You’re not sure until it’s about two-thirds the way down. Then it snowballs a bit. That’s kind of funny because snow is the opposite of what you’re experiencing.

As the saline solution reaches the end of the bridge, at the tip, you feel it accumulating. It isn’t really heavy, in a way that it creates pressure. It’s more like a swelling. It is amassing. Gaining enough mass where you can begin to see it if you almost cross your eyes. It is becoming a drop. A bead of sweat. That will drip. Right off of your nose. And you’re not working out. You’re just going about your business.

It’s 91°F and the humidity is 60%. This calculates to what is called a Heat Index of 102°F. The other phrase for Heat Index is Feels Like. In this case it feels like it is too hot and your body is leaking.

The water is almost hanging from your nose. It feels like that minute as the Olympic divers stand on the edge of the platform, facing away from the water and just before they hurtle themselves in the air in twists, turns, pikes and tucks to meet the water. Their hands are clasped together as in prayer, but they use this spear to slice into the water for a splash free entry.

But you? Your hands are no help. They’re otherwise occupied. You’re hand deep in dirt, or you have two hands on the leash, or you’re carrying two bags of groceries and a twelve pack. You can’t brush the water away, even though it is annoying you. You both don’t want it to drip and can’t wait for it to release. You won’t shake your head to get rid of it.

Turns out you are now waiting for it. It’s an uncomfortable, yet delicious, anticipation. You stand still because you know it’s so close. So ready. You lean your head a bit away from your body and watch the pearl fall.

You lose sight before it hits the ground, but the next bubble is already beginning its slide. You brush this one away, either using the back of your hand or at your shoulder. But it doesn’t matter. The drips are backed up like O’Hare after a wind shear. They will come one after another now.

Your hands are still occupied, but you somehow reach for the key to step into the dark, cool house where you will splash your face with many many many drops of cool, salt free, water and dry yourself off. A sigh of relief will slip from your lips. You shake your head.

Room Temperatures

A very hot dog takes advantage of the box fan.

The house is unnaturally cool. Blankets get pulled up around chins. The hot coffee feels good going down. There is always a hoodie nearby for the overzealous chill. You could even imagine baking–if that was what you did. If it was a blueberry pie, that would be good.

Opening the door on a 97°F day isn’t a shock. Walking through the threshold, the wet heavy air forms a drape, a drape that is transparent to the eye but has the heft of thick velvet curtains. You need to almost push the air away, except it doesn’t resist.

The humidity is supra-tropical and the air is moving around. For skin cooled by the AC, it really isn’t as bad as expected. Stepping off of the shady porch and into the sunlight is a bigger contrast. The sun squinches eyes, even those behind sunglasses. It doesn’t caress the cool skin as much as press on it. But it doesn’t press hard.

The heat is forgotten for the first five blocks, until the the last of the chill, that last chill left on your forearms, gets dispersed into the air. The cool becomes hot, too.

The heat begins to press harder on skin. It closes up your nostrils, making it harder to breathe. It squeezes out beads of water along the hairline, at the waistband. Water begins to drip from under arms and beneath chins from throat to chest.

The heat seems to make gravity more grave. It pushes down on thighs as they work to bring the feet up to propel to the next block. It would be easy to slow down, but that would mean staying in the heat. No slowing down, but no speeding up, either. Additional exertion would be too punishing.

The last turn to the final block is a mental relief but a physical trial. Cheeks are flushed and radiate fire. The dull throbbing from your head that started two blocks earlier becomes all consuming.

The key turns in the lock. The door opens and the arctic blast starts your revival. The moisture on all skin surfaces begins to evaporate in the dark, cool house. The pounding in your head gets worse as you slump onto the couch. You stand up to switch the fan to “high” and flop back on the couch, facing the fan with your eyes closed, wiping your face with your shirt.

Your head hurts, but as you watch the swelling of your feet subside and feel the ring twirl around freely where it had been stuck on your sausage finger a few minutes ago, you lay your still pulsing head on the pillow, and reach for that hoodie.