Summer in the Second Person

You go to bed late, so you get up late, you eat breakfast late, and you get to work late. It’s already gorgeous out at ten when you get there, so by two, you decide an outdoor lunch is in order. You take a stroll around the block, noticing that it’s rather too warm to count as gorgeous, and you end up where the secretary predicted you would - on the green in front of the local library.

By now you want out of the sun, but the green is mysteriously bereft of shade. There are trees, yes, but they don’t seem to be casting any shadows. You wander a bit, investigating the situation (it’s a big green, and a big library - freshly renovated, the secretary said), until you find a tree of your own. The shade of its branches is better than nothing.

Yes, the shade of its bare branches - the trees on the green are in bud, and the fancy ones in flower, but it’s eighty-five degrees out in the bright sunshine and there are no leaves.

You think of the heat, still on in your apartment, because the landlord is legally obliged to provide it for another month yet. It was never really winter and now it’s suddenly high summer. It hardly snowed and now it’s not raining. You can’t remember the last time it rained. You think of the reservoir on the other side of the state, of the water that flows downhill a hundred miles to your faucet. When you get back from lunch, the secretary says we’ve ruined the earth.

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