The air is already thick with humidity. Nothing is moving. The leaves just sit there on the branches. Even the birds are quiet. This room, at the back of the house, is still cool and dark, but it won’t be by mid-afternoon. Today the house with the AC will be my refuge.
We are spoiled. Our expectations have changed. The house is too hot? Put in central air. It’s a pain to move the hoses around the yard and garden. Time for an irrigation system. You want dinner ASAP. Put it in the microwave. Don’t want to wait for the charcoal for the barbecue. Buy a gas grill. Go from the air-conditioned house to the air-conditioned car to the air-conditioned store.
I remember summers when I was young. They were filled with wanderings and woods and the swamp. Being sweaty and even a bit dirty were signs of a good time, of a day well spent. I was always so exhausted I fell asleep in the sweltering heat of my bedroom. Even my father hunting and killing mosquitoes with his rolled-up magazine woke me for no more than a minute or two even though he sometimes stood on my bed to reach the ceiling. That ceiling and all the others in the house had blots which represented another kill. My father was possessed.
I lived in Bolga. It was the hottest part of the country with the least amount of rain. I didn’t even have a fan. I went to bed still wet from my shower and slept through the hot night. Later, just before the rains when the humidity came, I moved outside and slept on my mattress in the back of the house. I saw a sky filled with a million stars. I always had no trouble falling asleep.
My bedroom on the third floor with the heat from the afternoon sun was so hot I couldn’t fall asleep so for most of the summer I slept downstairs on the couch with the back door opened. Later I splurged and bought a fan. One year I finally broke down and got a window air-conditioner for my bedroom. I tolerated the hot-house downstairs but luxuriated in the coolness of the bedroom where I easily fell asleep. Then I decided it made no sense to be hot and uncomfortable or to have to sit upstairs all afternoon so I went with central air.
It seems the older I get the more spoiled I become. I have to admit, though, I’m loving it.