Have you heard of not being summer?

Driving through hot ass western Wyoming approaching hot ass Utah with my hot ass wife in June 2021 / Aaron A. Cinder

I was born in Wisconsin in the middle of winter. It was cold and the waters of Lake Michigan closest to the shore were frozen over. The trees were stripped bare of all they wear. The snow was dirty white and deep. Human breath roared forth like dragon spit down on the sidewalks.

Winter is one of my happy places. I was literally born for it. Winter is cozy, fireplace warm, homeward bound for Christmas.

I hate summer. Summer is a battle for me. I am like opposite bear and want to hibernate May through August – in a cave of ice, with a frosty mug of A and W root beer, my laptop, and really good internet service. What should we call that? How about Fantasy Land answers Thornton Melon (played by Rodney Dangerfield) from the 1986 comedy film Back to School.

Technically, summer doesn’t even officially begin for about another week, but don’t tell that to Tennessee. Temperatures today are forecast to top out at 94 degrees with a heat index of 106.

As the guy on Office Space would say: Yeah, if you could just not be so hot today, that would be great. Thanks.

The bottom line is – I HATE HEAT. I hate to go outside in the summer. I don’t like to be hot. I don’t like to sweat. I don’t like to be uncomfortable beneath a blazing sun. I burn easily. I hate the bugs. I hate getting into my lava hot car and burning my palms on the steering wheel. Summer is not cozy. Summer is obnoxious. I spend most of summer indoors in the air conditioning and with fans roaring in our bedroom.

Then why did you move to Tennessee? Someone might ask with a crooked face of wonder.

Well, I do like some things hot. Like my wife. She’s the reason I live in Tennessee. So, I put up with the summers here, but still bitch about it. The other day I suggested to her that we get a summer home in Antarctica. She thought that was a bit much. Okay, how about Iceland? She was more receptive to that.

Now, I’ve lived in other hot places – Colorado, New Mexico, South Carolina, West Texas, Missouri. Colorado was the most seasonally diverse. New Mexico (the southeastern part) boasted an unbearable desert heat that would thrust one into agonizing days on end of temperatures well above 100. South Carolina was a wet, heavy heat that made everything, and everyone drip. Texas was a dry, windy, wildfire-like slap in the face. Missouri was like, eh, Missouri – there were good days and there were bad days.

I thought as I got older, I would become more adaptable to the heat, you know, on a purely biological level. I went into this current impending summer of doom hopeful that would be the case, but as the mercury climbs higher day by day, I’m like NOPE. It’s not working. I’m not built for it.

Just the other day in a hopeful trance, I was talking to my wife about Thanksgiving. She looked at me like I was crazy. I think I must be. But I truly wish I could erase the summer months from the calendar. Come on Mother Nature, can’t we just extend autumn and winter a couple of months more each? Please. If only I had a light-duty time machine.

On a societal level, summer is often portrayed as the fun time of the year. For example, people painfully smiling as they cruise in lipstick-red convertibles on their way to play with their balls at some beach in paradise – inflatable rainbow-colored beach balls are what I mean, but then again, I’m sure there are some weirdos who play with their balls at the beach. Okay, that was unnecessary but I’m going to leave it because Cereal After Sex is a playground for pushing the literary envelope off the swing. Literary? Maybe not always.

But I’ve gotten off track. Where was I? Oh yeah, summer. I have no desire to jump up and down on a beach in my skimpy swimsuit slapping around a volleyball. (No one would want to see that anyways.) I don’t want to wear shower shoes or shlippy shloppies (what us folks from up north call flip flops) down by the pool. I’m not a swimmer. I’m an always on the verge of drowning kind of guy. Pools don’t impress me. I like to look at the ocean and listen to the ocean, but I don’t necessarily enjoy putting my body in it. I’d rather play in the icy waters of one of the Great Lakes before heading back to my woodsy cabin. With the ocean, I’m afraid of getting stung by a jellyfish or eaten by a shark or being swept away by a giant wave. Do you remember what happened to Greg Brady in Hawaii? But then again, he was probably high.


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Walking to the Moon

The birds began to sing

at the edge of another dream

My eyes hurt with sleep

Heartbeat torn

like old paper

The skylight burns another hole

through everything I hold

But not your skin, your gaze, your soul

I’m a rocking chair captain

with threads of cold gold

running through my veins

this window is driving me insane

Another hole to look through

another view without you

roof tiles and smokestacks

a slice of cloudless sky

Every day I whisper or scream –

How I wish for flight, out of sight

Naked at dawn

these unforgiving hours

A smoldering cigarette lights the way

Through this smashed up haze

I’m just a cast away

on lost highway

with nowhere to go

but so many damn directions

Empty roads beckon wanderlust

Heaven torn asunder by the sun

I’m down and out, beat

I wanna run

to the view from a summer porch

buried in the green torch

memories of stories

told outside a backdrop

of large glass windows

Memories torn asunder by the sun

This heartache wakes me to another day

beating against the wall of my chest

Struggling to breathe

I want to let the world in

but how do I believe?

When everything I once captured

has now been released

And everyone I love

Loves someone else

And everyone I love

lives in a different house

And everyone I love

doesn’t even remember my name

Headlamps stir this torture

like a straw in a poisoned drink

I’m melting in the cold

Truth untold

Lie awake at night

struggling to calm the burdens of the day

My life gone astray

Stone, metal harp

greets me at the door

turn the key

and I’ll be free

Because everyone I loved

never even knew me…