Ridiculously hot temperatures are compelling

by Bob Schwartz

We live in a desert city that has very hot summers. And pretty hot springs and falls too. It’s a desert.

Right now, it has been extra hot for days, even for here. Days higher than 110, nights barely dipping into the 80s. That’s hot.

The advice is simple. Stay out of the heat if you can. And hydrate because, well, you know, it’s a dry heat.

It is wise not to spend too much time outside. But I admit that when I do venture into the midday sun, I get a little bit of a charge. I am not stupid and I would not expose myself for any extended time. But the feeling of that supernatural heat is an experience. It is beyond meaning and analysis. It just is, very present, very forceful. I am not nearly so enlightened as to transcend the desire for comfort. That’s why there is blessedly air conditioning in the house.

And yet, dipping into that heat is as bracing as dipping into the ocean. Like the ocean, it has its own rules and its own ways, and invites you to share…if you can, if you are willing. I am willing, for a few minutes, to be surrounded by air that feels—not objectionably—like the inside of an oven. Smartly, I stay just a few minutes. Then back inside.