I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Huh-ha-huh-ha-huh-ha. The air has weight, heavy and hot. It is like breathing thin warm water, but still it is air and I need it. The sky’s thick breath presses on us like a warm, wet blanket, hard to run through, hard to sleep through, hard.
Me: Are you all right?
Stella: Yes. But I am not happy. Send the hot away.
Me: Not in my power. Summer has its purpose, just as spring and autumn and winter have their purposes. Every season has a reason.
Stella: Is that one of those human rhymes, Lady Human? Really! It is too hot for rhymes.
Me: It is too hot for anything else. And yet, this is by far not the hottest weather I have witnessed.
Stella: I am not sure that I want to hear that story.
Me: It was the Summer of 1980…
Stella: Oh, no. Is this going to be a long story because, if it is, I need some popcorn.
Me: No popcorn. Not that long.
Stella: How about a frozen treat?
Me: I’ll see what I can do. Anyway, it was the Summer of 1980. The temperature reached 100 degrees or more for what was it? 69 straight days?
Stella: Are you asking me? I was not around that long ago, remember?
Me: One day, the temperature reached 113 degrees Fahrenheit. I walked from one building to another several blocks away in downtown Dallas.
Stella: Downtown Dallas? Is that in our backyard?
Me: Not really. Anyway, when I got there, I laid my hand on my head. My hair was so hot, it burned my fingers to touch it. I should have worn a hat or carried an umbrella, but no, I thought, hey, no big deal!
Stella: Scary! I am covered with hair! Is there much more to this story because, if there is, I really need popcorn.
Me: I met a man from Italy and he was horrified that it was so hot.
Stella: I am not from Italy, whatever that is, and I am horrified. How did the story turn out? Did you burn up?
Me: No. I mean…obviously not, I am still here.
Stella: So, no big deal, right? My question is what are you going to do about the hot, heavy air right now?
Me: It was only 95 or 96 today. Just keep calm. Stay inside. Drink water.
Stella: And keep the air conditioner running.
Me: Amen. There was another summer that came within a day of breaking the 1980 run of 69 100 degree plus days…
Stella: Nope. Enough. No more stories without popcorn.
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