It was hot. The sort of heat where you feel sick from it, cloying and wet and sweating and sick. Nothing to be done except sit there and wait, sit and stare and fidget and itch. And moan, and moan.
There’s no better weather for moaning. “Urgh, it’s so hot,” every ten minutes, looped, throughout the day, the night, the whole fucking week of it. Followed up always by “Too hot,” half in correction to that earlier “so”, half in confirmation. Moaning to yourself, with yourself, against yourself.
It was all we had. Unable to even use our phones as distraction, our fingers and thumbs too drenched in sweat to operate the screen, their innards and workings too hot to cope, their response even more pathetic than ours – screen glitches, randomised resets, refusals to turn back on. At least the sun doesn’t make narcoleptics of us all. Not yet, anyway.
Out of the house she comes, her hair still wet from the shower. A new summer dress, a radiant smile. A slight fragrance of something, some scent of flowers or fresh fruit. She drops her book on the table top, sits in the seat next to mine, takes a sip of her drink with a small shudder of delight.
Turns to me.
“What a glorious day,” she says, the ice cubes clinking in her glass, her smile as wide as the sky, as bright as the sun. “I hope it’s like this all summer long.”
The only thing more unbearable than the heat is other people’s happiness.
1. Written in the summer of 2020
2. When it was quite hot