In case nobody has noticed, it is Dog Days on the East Coast. Meterologically speaking, this means that the fetid, sweltering mass of air that the Midwest has already breathed and exhaled and farted in for the past two weeks has recently been shipped to us for our re-use. Today there's a Heat Advisory which says that the heat plus the humidity in these here parts is going to make it feel like it's 110 degrees at some point today. It is now about noon and I just went outside and I can report: yup, it feels like 100. The air smells like dirty socks.
David says, "If the world runs out of enough energy to run the AC, we might as well slit our wrists."
"Don't be ridiculous," I told him. "I grew up without air conditioning. In GEORGIA." But back then, we had these things known as Trees. My parents built their own house and because they were not some mass-producing dumbass developer, they did not hire a bulldozer and mow down all the trees before they built. They cut down the trees that were standing in the footprint of the house, and left everything else. That meant that I grew up in a forest. The leaves overhead were so thick that in light rains sometimes the ground outside did not even get wet. In the summer, my sister and I would sleep on the back porch, on a couple of old Army cots my dad had brought back from the war.
I asked my old friend (literally old: she is 83) her memories about life before AC. "We used to sleep outside under the old oak tree," she said.
I drove by my childhood home last fall. After years of benign neglect, in which the property grew up in scrub pine (with the old redoak trees towering overhead--they must have been at least a century old), and the bulldozers have been through. They left one redoak tree, one of the hundreds that used to be there. One.