It’s getting hot. It’s the kind of heat that sucks the energy from your bones, that dries the river, dropping the water table. The kind of heat that draws any touch of moisture from the dry dirt road, leaving prone its pulverized surfacing to drift in puffs of dust with every step, and roil in clouds behind each passing vehicle. The sort of heat that brings out the worst in people, especially me.
Conversations seem limited to the weather, that topic of agriculturalists the world over (even in the city where I am, most families have fields – “machambas” – and practice subsistence agriculture). The most frequent exchange I hear seems, surreally, lifted straight out of rural America.
– It’s hot today.
– Getting hotter.
– Just you wait. November? December? Hoo boy.
(November & December being the hottest months, this being the southern hemisphere.)
I finally understand the southern tradition of sitting on the veranda drinking iced tea, with a sympathy I never truly have before. I do little else myself these days. As much as I appreciate my electric fan (I have never been more thankful for household purchase), it is a luxury item. I understand anew why people here pass the time out of doors, waiting for a breath of fresh air.
Undoubtedly my heat tolerance is low. Equally undoubtedly, weeks on end with daily highs of 37°C are objectively hot.