The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Too Much Air Conditioning pt.2

with one comment


What has really perked up my ears with this drought is how people hearken back to 1988, saying what we have just gone through was worse than ’88–it is, in fact, the worst we’ve ever had.  But ’88 is still very vivid in my mind.  I was working in Hell on Earth (which I quantified as K-Mart) and trying to mow lawns.  I was thirsty to head off to college, but it felt like I had to walk through a crucible to get there, and the deeper I descended into that crucible the further away college seemed to move, to the point where I wondered if I would ever get there.  But what did I know?  I was 18, and when you’re 18, everything feels ten times worse than it is, and you’re reaction is ten times more overblown than it needs to be.  ’88 was bad, though, and I’ve written about it before:

            Starting in June, there is a drought that only makes things worse.  By the middle of the summer, there is a ban on fireworks, the nightly news runs footage of shipping problems on the Mississippi because of the low water levels, and the idea of siestas begins to appeal to everybody.  I’m mowing very few lawns…  When I do mow, the machine chokes out huge amounts of dust and dirt.  The ongoing heat makes it hard to sleep at night.  I plod home from work and try to tire myself out by staying up late, but my sheets are hot and clingy, preventing all but a few hours of rest.  I wake up sweaty, then plod back to K-land heavy-lidded and grouchy.  The shifts drag by.  Those not working at K-Mart combat the weather by buying any sort of water toy or device to tote to one of the hundred-and-one area lakes as they spend the day relieving themselves of the heat.  The store makes tons of money selling sunscreen, ice, coolers, water toys, and beach towels.  Each purchase taunts me with thoughts of what I could be doing instead… 

…  (my immediate supervisor) willingly leases me out to do the crappiest jobs in the store–like working up in the attic in the stifling heat to bring down shelving units, or unloading boxes from trailers that bake in the sun all day long behind the store.  Everything I touch in every job I do radiates heat and exacerbates the effects of the drought.

As I was digging for that excerpt (which has appeared here previously), I remembered a poem I wrote years ago that is a thematic tie-in to all this.  I dug through some of my old journals and found rough drafts of it way back in 2005.  I remember now that I had just learned how to write in iambic pentameter and was trying my hand at it in most every way I could.  That’s not an excuse for a crappy poem, it’s just to say that here’s a poem from way back when I started writing poetry.  And it’s pretty crappy!


It stops breezes dead on thick summer nights.

Its moisture douses flickering torch lights.

It rubs out firefly butts in an ashtray,

and grounds mosquito engines until day.

It makes sneaky kisses from furtive men

slip off patches of tan feminine skin,

and lets fish escape jails of ponds or streams

to swim through the air, fulfilling their dreams.

Written by seeker70

July 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I think the worst part of the necessity of AC this summer is how sick I’ve gotten from it. I’m not being figurative here: my allergies and my sneezing have been worse than ever this summer. In fact, I’ve spent much time of my life sharing the same overcrowded tent/barracks with others with nasty colds, and it wasn’t until this summer that I realized I even have allergies. Looking forward to tge winter reprieve, even if that reprieve means sub-zero temps and inches of snow.

    Stranger Danger

    August 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm

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