reports of extreme heat from germany, to england, to south korea, to my old borough of queens are stirring up a whole lot of my sympathy, but i confess it’s been difficult these past few days to imagine what it must feel like. in spite of my rain-soaked sockless episode yesterday afternoon, i’ve been covered from neck to toe for the past four days, fending off (sometimes in vain) the cold that’s been hanging around underneath the cloud-cover. the space heater even made an appearance yesterday evening, keeping my toes from turning into toecicles.
heaven knows i’m cold natured, and more so it seems as the birthdays continue to add up. those toes turn white with astonishing speed, and my favorite accessory to wear in the grocery store is always, always a jacket. but even patricio donned a decent sweater yesterday, and he never gets cold on a trip to the grocery store.
i had no good concept of what a “rainy season” might be, until now, since we’re in its midst. the season here in mexico city seems to span the six warmer months of the year. and i must say “warmer” with a sly little grin. the waters can come daily, for weeks at a time, cleaning the streets, washing trash into the rivers, flooding a few neighborhoods, and liberating us from any yard watering for a long, long time. and those rains seem to have a deal with the sun; letting it shine for most of the morning, but nipping it's ambitions of heat in the bud with a cooling, cloudy shower in late afternoon.
the showers are most often quite short, hard, and sweet. but this weekend's been an exception, with heavy clouds trying their best to steal the whole show. patricio and i were invited on saturday to attend an equestrian event this side of cuernavaca, in which a good law school friend of patricio's was signed up to ride and compete. the all-day, off-and-on drizzle never did decide to rain, leaving me shivering and white-toed at day's end, in the car with the heater on high. but the show still went to fabián and his beautiful white-gray horse, with green first place ribbons to rival the rain-soaked grass underneath our fabián fan club feet.
this weekend's exaggerated chilliness reminded me of a quote about new mexico and a popular misconception: if you think new mexico is all desert, go take a hike.
i know plenty of people who are surprised to know i've never watched fourth of july fireworks in my hometown without bundling up against the cold mountain weather. mexico city is so similar in that way; i count on questions about how i handle the heat, now that i live south of the border, and my answer always lays out how i handle the cold. the average high temperature for the month of july is 77 degrees farehnheit.
i may be a world away from the news-making heatwaves, and though power-demanding air-conditioning is a fairly rare find in homes and businesses here, i'm still able to hold solidarity with my former fellow residents of queens, since rain and power outages go so happily hand in hand here. it sure helps on the sympathy end, even if a bit of their heat would be a welcome guest in my little corner.