Saturday, July 1, 2017

The smell of summer nights

That moment when a storm is brewing a few miles away, and the temperature drops a little, so you open up the windows, and you breathe in a breath of clean(ish) city air. You feel grateful for a second night in a row that the acrid smell of burning yard waste or plastic hasn't filled your house .... yet. You take a little credit for that, because two nights before you finally, at the urging of a friend who rides those big red trucks, called the fire department out to find the pyro who was setting those damn fires that filled your house with throat-burning smoke every single night for weeks and put his flame out.

You let the dog out so he can guard the backyard from the stoop, turn on your tunes and start cleaning the kitchen. You're singing along to something classic that brings back memories of summers long past when wine was forbidden and kissing for hours in the front seat of your boyfriend's Ford LTD wasn't as long as his hands didn't slip inside your clothes..... When suddenly your nose slaps your brain and yells, "Hey, dumbshit! I've been trying to tell you there's a fucking skunk out there and given how quickly the kitchen filled with the stench, it's really close." Your brain sends a jolt of adrenaline through your entire nervous system, and you run to the door, jerk it open, and start yelling for the dog to come in now. He gets up from where he's laying on the back porch barely 3 feet away from the door and runs all the way across the yard instead. Frantically you yell at him to COME! COME HERE RIGHT NOW! And he looks at you from the back gate, as if he's deciding whether you're serious, even though you've never not been serious when you've used that tone of voice. Finally he turns and comes sauntering back across the yard where a skunk could be hiding in the shadows just waiting to ruin your life, trots up on the porch, and an utter disaster is averted everywhere except in your brain, which is still dumping adrenaline through your poor veins. Fucking skunks.

You pour a glass of cold Chardonnay and wish you had a bag of Lays classics to make you hate yourself in the morning. Oh, well. You'll find something else. Until then, bring on the lightning and the thunder and the rain. It's summer in the city.