Heat Wave

It’s sunny. What am I going to do with that? It’s sunny. And hot. The rain is drying up in puddles in the warm morning air. Babies are high-stepping up the sidewalk. I resent the time spent at work, and then stand dazed and speechless before the bigness of the little free time I have.

A man sits at the curbside on his pack. He looks serenely into the blue sky. His sign says simply “Mercy.” It was Superbowl Weekend I heard.

It got me thinking, of course. My true needs are simpler than I sometimes imagine. What would my sign scrawled on cardboard say?

The image of a peaceful corn field can sometimes make me cry. It’s silly and I can’t explain it. When I think about rest and my longing for it, tears well up in my eyes from missing.

That night, I took an inner tube down to the lake in the big sky blue truck. There was mirage on the road past the quarry. I walked out past the children splashing in knee-deep water. I waded out to the end of the flooded parking lot where I could feel the parking curb beneath my feet. I jumped into the tube and paddled out.

I splashed past the houseboats. I drifted beyond the moored motorboats. I sailed around the island that was part of the park before the high-water. I paddled backward out into the lake. The water was green glass.

The sun ducked behind a bank of clouds. Slowly the sky turned apocalyptic. The sun was blood red and hazy. The clouds swirled overhead.

I was alone on the big lake. Just me and the water bugs and the geese overhead. I lay my head back and watched the sky. I drank in the delicious lonely feeling of solitude and the bigness of the whole world.

On the way home, there was a line at the DQ in the twilight, and the bank thermometer read 94 degrees.

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