We have now officially left behind my favorite time of year, and I won’t be content again until we reach the autumn. I have not enjoyed a spring since falling in love was still a thing, and summer is too hot to particularly care for. If I can make it out to San Francisco, I think I’ll have a chance, but stuck out in the East Bay, I’ll be cooked alive this August. Growing up in the temperate climes of the Pacific Northwest have forever ruined me for pleasant weather. Once the temperature hits something above the mid-sixties, I start feeling like a lobster, and grow just as red, a combination of rage and sunburn. When I moved to the Bay Area, I was pleasantly surprised by the drastic change of climate between the beginning and the end of my journey. It was the beginning of January, and when I left Seattle, it was cold and rainy, just like every other winter which I’d ever known. Upon arriving in The Emeryville Horror, I was greeted by near-tropical conditions, a shining sun, and warm summer breeze. Somehow, over the course of a twenty-two hour train ride, I had traveled not only through space, but time as well, arriving in the summertime, some six months in the future. It all seemed so fantastic then, a little break from misery.
But what is novel for a little while can grow tiring after too much longer, kind of like how I managed to drive all my ex-girlfriends away. It took a couple of years, but I soon grew weary of winter resembling nothing more than a summer in Seattle. And the past few years have been annoyingly unbearable. Sure, I miss the snow, and actually needing to wear my flannel shirts for something other than just show, but when it gets up into the nineties just as I’m being forced to sit down for a turkey dinner, I tend to feel that I’ve been robbed of the natural cycling of the seasons. Maybe someday the rains will come, and bring something to us which more resembles something not entirely dry and hellish. And maybe on that day I will finally go to check out some of these beaches which I have managed to avoid, and sit and stare down the Pacific Ocean while the rain drizzles down upon me. And that, my friends, is how you know that I grew up in the shadow of the Emerald City. You know, if I wasn’t constantly going on about it.
The past few days it’s been painful just to walk outside, and, according to my cellphone, it’s only reached the seventies. And while it may not be too bad between the ocean and the bay, out here in the Easy Bay, we don’t have that kind of luck. Pretty soon, it will be too hot to sleep until the wee hours, and from sunrise ’til sunset, it will not be any better. Maybe I will do a rain dance of some kind. No, not an antiquated ceremony of supplication to the gods. I mean setting up a sprinkler and running through it in my swim trunks. Of course, we’re in a drought, so I probably wouldn’t be allowed. But no one can stop me from taking a pleasant cooling shower (aside from myself), and as the mercury rises, I plan to avail myself of the opportunity. Don’t worry about water waste, however. Even the most luxurious of my showers, cool or otherwise, last no more than a dozen minutes (one of the advantages which baldness has bestowed upon me). Just enough to wash away the tyranny of over-pleasant weather. No wonder all my friends make fun of me when I speak of moving down to Mexico.
Sure, I’ll be spending most of my time indoors, writing, but I can’t imagine that I’ll be okay when the summer comes. Although, there is the chance that I will get to finally see white sandy beaches and an ocean so deeply blue that I will be moved to tears. And I’ve heard that the lightning storms that roll in near the ruins are something to behold. Of course, none of that will matter if I die from heat stroke. I am the product of a genetic adaptation which allowed my ancestors to survive the bitter cold. Long gone are the days when my family tree could flourish in the summers that once graced the homeland of our species. That being said, I have family that have lived in the south for all of their lives, and they seem to have done alright, so maybe it’s time I stop complaining, and get used to a slightly warmer climate. Not that I’ll have much choice. Whether it’s a move to Mexico, or simply living a little while longer, the weather I once knew as a child, isn’t likely to return.
At least my son is well-equipped to face the coming changes. It’s my hope that he’s inherited his mother’s ability to face unseasonable weather. Whereas I can’t spend more than a handful of oppressive moments in direct sunlight before I begin to burn, my son is happy to run free, and never sad to see the clouds burn off by the mid-morning. He still feels the heat, and complains nearly as much as I do, but I can see it in his eyes that it doesn’t really bother him; a quick sip of something, and he’s out the door again. And, based on our most recent visit to the Puget Sound, he’s not that bad in cold weather, either. Even when the temperature was hovering around freezing, he was determined to hit the rocky beaches of Rolling Bay in rubber boots and a hastily thrown-on hoodie. Actually, my wife didn’t too badly, either. It turns out that it’s easier to throw on a couple of extra layers than to try to find something else to take off when nothing else remains.
Now, if you will all excuse me, I’m going to continue with this new hobby which I’ve picked up: sneezing uncontrollably, and rubbing my face raw with the constant clearing of the ever-running boogers.