Summer, Where Are You?

Photo by Marc Fulgar on Unsplash

I watched your moon face change with the times. Held your tissue-paper hands, as you told your story in halting, conflicted language. We laughed as children, remembering past summers & ice cream, lots of ice cream. Then, slowly turned toward the sun and watched our lives melt away… [“Sarah,” Carol Banks Weber]

I’m not entirely sure why this #Seattleheatwave/poor air quality’s got me paranoid about leaving my home. But I’ve stayed indoors since Wed., after doing as many necessary errands as I could (skin check, groceries, Michael’s for yarn). I’ve also kept my son, 15, indoors as well. He has asthma, as does his father.

Unfortunately, my husband works, hard — as an Amazon software tester and a musician. But he’s trying to limit his exposure to the outdoors as much as possible. Tonight, he’s performing with a Steely Dan tribute band at a festival north of here, where the wildfires in Canada are the closest. I can’t talk him out of going.

If you’re married to a working musician, you know. Once it’s in the books, it’s going down no matter what. Jesus Christ Himself could come back ushering in the Rapture. Musicians will continue setting up their gear, oblivious to the mushroom clouds exploding around them. Remember the Titanic? Musicians kept playing as the ship sank!

I hate it, but that’s the life of a musician. I can only hope and pray that my husband stays hydrated and keeps a rescue inhaler close by.

I haven’t missed much since incubating myself in my air-conditioned bedroom. Just the nightly walks around my wooded neighborhood. In fact, when I look outside from the sliding glass doors in my kitchen, the haze doesn’t seem so bad. This forest protects us from the worst of the heat wave, as well as cleans up the haze. I’ve developed a greater appreciation for trees (nature), that’s for sure.

Local weathermen warn that wildfire smoke will linger for many, many days, perhaps weeks.

If I have to, I will pull my son out of the upcoming soccer tournament, scheduled for next weekend. As much as I love watching him play, and as much as he loves soccer, we don’t love it that much. His health is more important, a lesson we learned in 2014.

What I don’t understand is why the rest of the public isn’t as concerned.

K5‘s Allison Sundell reported yesterday that the air quality is even worse than in Beijing.

“Seattle’s air quality index was 156 on Thursday afternoon, which is considered unhealthy, according to AirNow.

That’s worse than Los Angeles and several cities in China and India.

Beijing’s air quality index was 80, Shanghai sat at 78, and Chongqing was ranked 65, all of which are considered moderate, according to the World Air Quality Index Project.”

That’s pretty fucking bad. Yet, here we are, business as usual. Really? WTF?

People are out there camping, hiking, settling in for Seafair and the loud Blue Angels Show, they’re smoking around their fire pits, lighting up BBQs, leaving their kids out in the blistering sun for hours like nothing happened.

I’m sure when Aug. 21 rolls around, they’ll be standing around in droves staring at the solar eclipse without proper glasses, burning their retinas blind.

I don’t understand people at all. I almost admire them for ignoring the news and throwing caution to the wind, just to do whatever the fuck they want.

But then, the evil side of me is waiting for the fallout. It’s the same feeling I get when a tailgating speeder putting everyone’s lives in danger weaving in and out of the freeway at 90-100 finally gets nailed by a cop, or flips over and crashes at the side of the road (true story, Hawaii). Karma, I guess.

I guess people don’t care if their children suffer a horrible asthma attack and need to be rushed to the ER for more Prednisone. I guess thinking about the very young, the very elderly, and other groups of the most susceptible (cystic fibrosis, cancer, asthma, allergies, strokes, heart condition) is too much of a bother. I guess they don’t really give much of a shit about anything going on around them unless they’re directly affected, as per usual.

These people remind me of a herd of cows, a zombified public. They just take up space and stare, with absolutely zero reaction to the world around them.

These are the same people who take pictures of the sunset and share them with insipid captions like, “Awesome summer!”

In the meantime, I’m very thankful we had the good sense to purchase a portable air conditioner for our son’s room two weeks ago. I’m thankful for these trees, this forest, this canopy of nature in the middle of all this man-made nonsense. I’m thankful for the doTerra essential oils my friend Sarah roped me into buying four springs past. Diffusing peppermint oil for the win!

I’ve been doing as little as possible this week: sleeping in, blasting Spice Girls on YouTube, a little crocheting, a little light reading, mini-binge-watching mindless reality-TV, blogging here, laughing at Facebook, eating fruit, drinking coffee, watching the hazy sun through the safe grove of these pine trees guarding me like sentinels…

I just wish summer would came back soon.




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