You know the feeling. It's been hot all summer. I mean really f-ing hot. I've lived my whole life (apart from some fantastic trips here and there) in Louisiana and Texas. I know hot. I remember taking cold showers when the power went out just to stay sane. I remember lying face down on a cool waterbed mattress wearing as little as possible in a crappy house in Austin, where the landlord laughed at our, admittedly, laughable window air conditioning units, just to feel some sort of coolness. I remember walking through the freezer section at the grocery store for some authentic coldness when it was hard to come by where I lived. As I've had many different occupations, including that of a practically professional student for a number of years (four degrees later... seriously, I was a student for a long time), I've spent many years with little money searching out the cool when it was unbearably hot outside. I now have a good job and steady air conditioning, which only serves to remind me of how good I have it now. Ultra hot summers down here in the deep South are miserable. I just saw on the news that we're hitting triple digits this week. It's barely June. We're in for a long, excruciating summer -- I can feel it coming. How to remedy my dismay over the impending doom of heat headed my way? Memories of That Perfect Weather -- knowing it'll come again one day. A particular moment is popping in my head...
I remember living in Austin, while I was in undergrad, I believe it was late in the year 1995. I was driving to work in my 1987 gray Chevy Blazer (man, I loved that thing), which was plastered with stickers all over its backside, on the service road of I-35 somewhere near the intersection of 38th Street. I was driving along with my windows down, feeling COLD air. Naturally wind-driven cold air. My long crazy hair was blowing everywhere, and I was probably smoking a cigarette - which I did in those days - out the open window. I don't recall the music I was listening to, but it was probably something emotionally driven, and I am sure it was turned up LOUD. Cold air. Driving. Windows down. Feeling energized. If that's not a happy memory, I'm not sure what is.
My mother has told me that a cold front came through right as I was being born - a lovely fall day in an October many years ago. I guess I've always felt a very personal bond with a cold front that comes in and, at long last, relieves the relentless heat of its duties, at least for a while.
It's quite difficult to think of a picture that encapsulates the weather I'm remembering. So, I've just dug through some really old photos (quite fun, actually), and I found what I think is the only photo I have of my old beloved Blazer. Here it is for good measure: