this is not happening

Stage directions: Early April. Temperature outside the workplace claws its brutal way to 96 degrees, the highest recorded temperature in the United States for the day. No, this is not Death Valley…or is it. I am at a loss. The sun beats down with relentless fury, portending bleak times ahead for the mad captain of this ship.

I.  When the heat descends, the city upends. Delirium sets in within hours. Citizens spill out into the streets in a jumble of hot bodies and rude noise. The secrets of indoors suddenly become the public spectacles of outdoors. Sidewalks strewn with condoms. Arguments on front stoops. Dogs shuffle with constant tongues hanging. The pavement shimmers. Desperation spreads like smallpox, every sun-bleached surface contaminated. Crime soars. Murderous intent quickens. We are all immersed in the cacophony.

II.  Morning, I ride the white-pink gauntlet of Calvert, the cherry trees having all plotted the night before to explode in a synchronous burst of clotted blossoms, their rich fragrance drenching the air. Evening, opposite direction, strong winds shower me in white-pink snow, the pavement scattered for a moment with spring’s transient joy.

III.  The suddenness of everyone outside alarms me. Days before, winter still proffered its shield. Now inside is hot and none of us want to be there, though the basement calls to me with its cool concrete floor. How I wish to lay my fevered face against its chilled surface.

IV.  At night, strange explosions reverberate in the thick air, like automatic gunfire or heat thunder, ricocheting from east to west and back. I pause in the glow of the sodium lamp, my skin bathed orange. Abort mission, return to home base.

V.  Morning breaks open the day like a grey egg. And once again there is nothing to fear.

Leave a comment


  1. You sound like it is hard going.

  2. I like this line: Desperation spreads like smallpox, every sun-bleached surface contaminated.

    The heatwave sounds terrible, though through your words I can feel the suffocation and the desperation of it all. Over in my neck of the woods we’ve severe winds, snow and hail so it is strange to see the contrast at least in my mind. There have been talks on the radio about keeping pets indoors lest they get blown away! Though that is a little extreme, I think. A tornado of cats sounds scary!

    Oh, yes, how much do you charge for expert daydreaming. I would like to employ your services.

    • Cat tornados! Good heavens! That must be some wind.

      I’ve never worked up rates for my daydreaming services. That is part of the problem with being a daydreamer…lack of follow-through. Have you seen my original post about this service…it explains a little more about what I offer and may cause you to reconsider. However, if you’re still interested I can work up a quote, which would of course not be in standard currency because money is anathema to daydreamers.

      P.S. Glad you liked that line…I feel like I need a haz-mat suit. Luckily this week has been much more reasonable, temperature-wise.



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