I feel like the Wicked Witch, doused in water, steaming, sizzling and melting into oblivion. My organs boil and bubble like a cauldron, my skin burning red from the teeming liquid inside. I recede into nothingness, disappearing into the floor, folding in on my existence, unable to think due to the oppressive heat.
Officially, the high temperature for yesterday was 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 C) as measured in Denver, but a friend’s thermometer read 109 F (42.8 C). Even the darkness of night couldn’t spell the burning, an official low of 68 disappearing into the mid-70s before 7 AM this morning.
In Asia, people hid. They wandered through the heat, disappearing into malls to wander aimlessly through aircon, pretending to be in witsec in restaurants to escape the scalding humidity, and diving into warm pacific waters to douse the flames running down their back.
In Colorado, the dryness tempers the raging inferno of summer; the altitude provides cool breezes that help sweep away the rising volcano; the mountains provide a close escape the from the steaming bowls of suffocating vapor collecting in the foothills and valleys. None of this seems to matter, though I know how much worse it could be.
I feel like I’ve been sleepwalking, like my every step should be accompanied by a dirge. For the past month, I’ve been having difficulty sleeping. Partly, this is due to the temperatures and heat, and partly to other stresses in my life. I look around and watch people meander and mope through the heat, suffering the slings and arrows of the solar oven that is the atmosphere, and I feel in good company. The zombie apocalypse is now and the only end in sight is the promise of cool.
At camp, the heat is raising tensions. Challenges seem monumental, teamwork a chore, and kids inexplicably lose the ability to read, write, and explain verbally. I’m starting to wonder if I’m losing the same. Perhaps our brains are boiling in our skulls, liquefying under the pressures. Perhaps trepanation is the only answer…
The National Weather Service calls for it to cool down by Wednesday, dropping into the low 90s.
I can only hope that I’m not a puddle of melted goo by then.