It gets hot in the summer. For many, I know, elevated thermometer readings are a big part of the charm of this season, but heat does nothing for me other than cause me to perspire (a sartorially-detrimental function I ordinarily avoid). I am trying hard to live a bicycling life this summer in the city that will eventually become my full-time home. I pedal two miles every morning up a long steep hill to get to work, and at five o’clock each afternoon I come sailing down the hill at thirty miles per hour to get home. A heat index of 102ºF doesn’t make any of this any easier.
Then, when my wife and I are thoroughly wilted after a long day, the long daylight hours make it extremely difficult to convince minor children to acknowledge bedtime. And after hours of stories and sips of water and extra trips to the bathroom and more sips of water and running to the window to watch the motorcycles go by, after endless admonitions to just lie down and go to sleep, when the sky is black and the sheets on all three beds are tangled and damp and little bodies are finally still, we lie there in the dark, exhausted, beaten once again by the stifling stillness of the July night. Too worn out to get back up and do the dishes, we stretch out and roll over, and smell the sweet smell of sweaty children’s tousled hair.