Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Weather change--at last--like a fever breaking. A string of 90-degree-plus days stretching back to May; this past week too hot for coherent thought, our two portable air conditioners creating pitiful auras of cool we huddled around like a stove. In the car on Sunday the external temperature read 108.

Monday evening the air finally cracked open: hours of lightning, power flickering on and off at my mother's house, sending us scrambling for the house's two dim flashlights, lighting Christmas candles and sitting in silence around the kitchen table waiting for the lights to come back on. Trees down in the road, vanished traffic signals.

Today it seemed possible to breathe again. The study is no longer stifiling, and I can type for more than a few minutes without the cursor skittering under sweaty fingers. On Michigan Avenue people stood on sunny street corners and looked up without flinching; a man painted silver lounged in the shade. The dogs, who spent all weekend lying on their sides by the front door, were up again, barking with joy.

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