Sometimes, when I'm wearing a furry coat and jeans outside on a July night to insulate myself against wind and fog, I miss the sticky summer evenings of my first 23 years. Nights with the heat sticking my shirt to my back, thunderstorms every afternoon bringing a smell of wet asphalt. Going to the movies just to be out of the swampy DC heat.
Sars write about what it meant to work in those summers.
"So simple. Things needed doing, and we did them; when nothing needed doing, we lay down."
My last summer in DC, I spent working at the bar. Most nights it was busy enough to raise the temperature to approximately Core, Earth. We'd run the air conditioners sporadically so as not to tax the old electrical system, taking turns standing in front of one of the roaring old wall units, lifting up our hair and letting the cold blow across our foreheads, down our backs. But then once a week in the dead heat of August, some yahoo would come along and crank the AC up, and before you knew it, we were out of power, four old buildings on one circuit. The drunken "AWWWWW!" would go up, and everyone would filter outside, moving someplace where the lights were on.
We employees would sit out on the front porch, waiting to see if the power company would bother with fixing us before closing time so we could start making money again. P would play the guitar, and we'd start telling stories with the employees of the coffeeshop next door and the diner down the way. We'd drink the last cold bottle beers left in the fridge, fling melting ice cubes at each other, watching the parade of Saturday night on 18th street go by.
Anyone from back east want to do a weeklong exchange program? I'll wear your tank tops, you can wear my coat.