Vol 1 Issue 10
Class, can anyone say where this is? Everybody back on the bus! We have a schedule to keep.
Good Lord! He’s green! I can’t get these damn earbuds to work! I want a refund! OMG! Look how black his balls are! Is she waving that stupid flag at us? Wait, wait don’t leave us!
It’s Monday, June 3 and a storm front passed through late yesterday, bringing a wonderful coolness to the air. On our morning walk today, Layla and I were feeling alive from the change. She was busy sniffing and I was striding out. Early June, the weather in DC isn’t often this cool and dry, though we still have the rest of the summer to get through. People who live in places where the summer humidity lasts for, say the whole month of July, will talk about how awful it is, and I just smile.
You don’t know humidity until you’ve lived in Miami.
I grew up in South Carolina, which isn’t a slouch when it comes to humidity, but Miami? Only place I ever had to run the AC through the Christmas season to keep the tree from wilting. I remember driving to work in summer Miami, stepping out into the early morning heat and having my glasses fog from the thick air. One time, the winter dropped to frost temperatures, and all the women pulled out their heavy furs like the arctic had reached Florida. It was hysterical to watch.
Looking back, I can remember being a kid in Carolina laying in front of the living room fan with it blowing full blast just to take a nap. Yet there was always baseball, and riding bikes in the full sun, and when I went to bed at night, the windows open wide, sounds of crickets and a lonely coon dog in his cage carrying across the humid air. That coon dog’s come into several poems over the years.
While living in Miami, I used to imagine Los Angeles to be much the same kind of place, so the first time I ever visited that city I was surprised by the difference in weather. Lots was written in the 70s about LA’s smog. What wasn’t so much noted was how the Pacific laves that place in oxygen.
On my first trip to LA in the 70s, running on the beach one blazing summer afternoon in shorts south of Malibu, I noticed a massive cloud bank rolling landward just above wavetop. Minutes later when the fog hit the shore, it kept rolling, blotting out the sun and the temperature dropped twenty degrees or more. In an instant I was wishing I had a shirt and long pants. The Atlantic has its days, but when the Pacific winds roll in, they speaks to coastal Californians like a secret code, ‘yeah, good choice living here!’
I spent some years in Connecticut going to school, in New Haven’s local college where they once rolled an artillery piece up to the college and threatened to blow it to bits back in an earlier heyday. I arrived late September, driving two days straight from Carolina. Rolled into town dazed and confused, found the first small pizza place and fell in love. Not the most picturesque place, but the Italians in New Haven do the best pizzas in the world, case closed.
When in Florence on our recent trip, we had good pizza but I’ll wager New Haven’s up against theirs. We can hold the contest in the shade of the Duomo and airlift in some of New Haven’s. After all, Florence is a bit more upscale. If you need proof, take yourself to Frank’s or Pepe’s, but I remember walking into other hole-in-the-wall bakeries in New Haven without any concern about their pizzas, or Italian subs, meatball subs … I could go on. And the fall weather in New England? Mmm, that’s living.
Either bury me in Bellagio on Lake Como with their food for the gods in view of the Alps, or in New Haven, CT with a pepperoni mushroom pizza sitting on top of East Rock watching the sun go down. I’ll be happy either way.
This is a short read about an author I’m getting to know.