It’s Hotter Down South

Picks from the pepper patch, Greensboro, NC, July 2010.

August in Dixieland can strain the will of a humble transplant from the North.  ”Surely,” you pray, “this debilitating slow burn cannot possibly continue. Where is the relief oh merciful shade?” A summer storm only adds to the stifling humidity, which remains to thicken the air long after the sun has set.

The kudzu thrives in this climate. It engulfs entire houses, chokes off wide pathways through the woods and corners you in like a giant broad leafed spider’s web. “How can this be? When the hell will this sticky hot mess relent?” you ask, wringing out a cotton shirt and smearing sweat around the lenses of your spectacles.

After a while you begin to ignore the steady beads of moisture running down your back as you wait in traffic. You drink more water and learn to live with it, offering sincere blessings and thanks to air conditioners and ceiling fans along the way. “Soon enough,” you say aloud to no one in particular, “soon enough this too shall pass.”

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