The Burning Times

Summer stretches on, dear readers, the air thick and heavy, set to a steady, slow broil. I anticipate these many, seemingly endless weeks with fear and loathing, knowing as I do the horrors that await, squatting, therein. I am decidedly unfit for such fiery months despite my heritage, my people being born of the arid deserts. Perhaps in the many years separating my ancestors and I, my genes have forgotten those traits that made survivable those wind-swept climbes. In the end, it doesn’t matter for the present remains the same, my time during those days between Spring and Fall consisting of scurrying from air conditioned room to air conditioned room in a vain attempt to thwart the heat and the body’s disgusting method of cooling itself. It is a battle I have yet to win and by now, already into the horrid month named for Augustus, my existence is a slick, damp, and sticky nightmare punctuated by frequent showers.

Were that the only plague visited upon this part of the Northeast it would be a blessing but, alas, this is not the case. With this infernal heat comes, of course, vast multitudes of insects. They are ubiquitous, gathering in great swarms that blacken the sky, yet do not provide shade. No, they bring no solace, only pain and itching. Truly it is a terrible time, each day finding me a salty, flailing golem shambling down the street flinging my arms, slick with perspiration, like a spastic and broken marionette as I am pursued by any number of buzzing parasites. It would, perhaps, be bearable were the nights to offer some sort of reprieve, but no. Holed up in my climate controlled habitat I can see them, gathering around the street lights, dancing on the humid air that rises from its dormancy in the asphalt. They are like flecks of summer snow. Filthy, disease-ridden, evil summer snow.

Charles McCarthy has documented
this particular blight. His time-lapse photography makes them appear almost beautiful, belying their festering malevolence. Oh, how I long for Fall.

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