Silver Wordsmith: An author's journey
We here are not built for the heat. Unfortunately for us, no one had told the heat. The Pacific Northwest is currently going through some record temperatures, and while objectively north of the border we’re not climbing quite as high as our neighbours to the south, subjectively we’re roasting just as badly.
For anyone out there not in the know, as I’m writing this, we’re preparing for temperatures to reach around 37-38 Celsius today, which for my Fahrenheit-dependent readers is around 100 degrees. Now, let’s not make this into a heat-measuring contest. I’ve experienced just as bad and sometimes worse in other places around the world. The difference is those places were often built for heat, while for our poor city these are historic highs. Almost no one here has air conditioning, ourselves included.
It’s like when everyone living in wintry places laughs when it snows half an inch somewhere and the whole city shuts down. Personally, I’m not sure what’s funny about a municipality not overspending on infrastructure they hardly ever need, but that’s just the realist in me. For the same reason, few here have invested in an AC unit, and without doing any research I would venture to guess one is currently impossible to find. So we do what we can, trying to harness whatever non-existent breeze there is through all our open windows and doors, and trying to head to bed early knowing that sleep will be hard to come by during the sweltering nights. Also trying to keep a constant vigilant eye on three kids who need to stay hydrated, including a baby.
For myself, the hottest day of this ordeal, which should be today, is also coinciding with a return to work from a two-week vacation. Let’s just say catching up on a quarter of a thousand emails while my brain is trying to melt out of my head is really not a vibe I was going for. Thank goodness for working from home, I guess. Our office has very little by way of a circulating air system and facing this heat in proper pants in front of my sunny window sounds like the last thing I want to do.
So, whatever happens today and tomorrow, just have to remember that for us it should all be mostly over by Wednesday (though the interior regions of our Province will likely not be so lucky), with the return of a far more seasonable heat, and maybe full brain function that would allow me to not only work properly, but to write as well.
Of course, what I also can’t help but remember is that while this particular heat wave will be over soon, the situation that is causing it will not go away as quickly or as easily, that this is a pattern of events taking grip across the planet – a grip that’s only getting tighter. Time to remember too, that there are ways out of it, with all the combined ingenuity of humankind, it doesn’t have to be the status quo, or worse. However, there are those out there who would sooner put “shareholder value” or “political donations” on a higher pedestal than human suffering.
Hopefully, and I apologize for ending so crassly, once they start suffering too, their priorities will shift.
Michael is a husband, father of three, lawyer, writer, and looking for that first big leap into publishing. All opinions are author's own.