“They” said we going to get a heat wave. It’s more like the sky has fallen and we are slogging through the innermost parts of a working blast furnace.
Every man, woman and child who comes through the door of my workplace announces: “It’s hot out there!” (like it’s a surprise). Their moist faces are red. Schools have closed. Town pools are hosting special openings. Some people faint; others break down slowly from lack of sleep and the stress that only extended and extremely hot weather can bring. If you don’t have an air conditioner, you’re screwed.
We have a little window unit that my husband nearly kills himself every year putting in. I never ask him to do it; he just does, yanking and banging and swearing and grunting until voila! Cool air sweeps through the rooms. Ceiling fans shove the air around and keeps the house temperature tolerable.
But last night, we lost electricity, and it stayed lost for hours. We were fortunate that the sun was already down and the house full of cooled air. After an hour; however, we went into the bedroom and slid open the windows to let in what there was of the night breezes. What we both noticed, immediately, was the awesome quiet of the world gone suddenly dark and silent.
Gone was the static hum of air conditioners, the white flash of big screen televisions, gone were the foot lights along dark sidewalks and porch lights. Gone were the big motion detector floodlights attached to houses blocks away that keep our street under blind surveillance. No thumping music from the neighbor’s son’s MP3 player.
It was an unexpected treat; a sudden assault of silence. The part of me that never sleeps embraced the dark quiet as if recognizing an old friend. The night air smelled of roses, finally cool upon my face.
I slept better than I have in days.