Image courtesy of Loren Kerns. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Atlanta summer weather is unpredictable: the heat knob on the thermostat hover somewhere around the 90 degree range, and the humidity slider somewhere around 70%, but neither is particularly firmly set and sometimes the cat gets in and knocks them around a bit and weird things happen. For example, this year’s July 4th weekend was just a glorious kind of this-is-why-I-live-here set of days, with weather that felt made for sitting on a porch and feeling good about things (like the fact that malaria no longer is a thing here—thanks, mosquitos!). The air was, though not entirely devoid of its water weight, certainly breathable and minimally full of Things That Will Give You Asthma.
I spent most of the weekend days on porches (three different ones!) and most of the evenings drinking whiskey in places with big windows. I purchased (and wore, with abandon) a pair of what are pretty definitely mom shorts. I sat in the shade.
In contrast to that, last week the celestial cat got in and knocked the humidity knob to 11: roundabout lunchtime, the heavens opened up. Summertime in Atlanta contains a fair bit of rain, but most of it is of the 20 minutes and gone variety, a little natural afternoon shower. It’s tedious but not harmful—it takes a few weeks of that weather for us to even begin to worry that the ground has been made soft enough that the trees will start falling out, again.
My mother died this week. I have been trying to come up with an appropriate response to this that I might post on the blog, but of course there isn’t one. It’s awful. I will probably fail to feel the weight of its awfulness until a few months or years from now. That is–I am told–the course of these things. Thankfully I do not know from firsthand experience prior to this point.
Cancer is an awful disease, and at my mother’s insistence I refuse to categorize her experience with it as a battle, though research and anecdata both tell me that this is the Done Thing. It was a bareknuckle fight with an asshole of a disease.
I try to avoid cursing on the blog in general, but really, fuck biliary cancer.
It’s a running joke in my family that Atlanta is populated by angry tree gods. Perhaps they’re a splinter cell of ents. We’ve never been sure. But every single time that it rains here (and it rains a lot), trees fall down. Big trees. In the roads, onto houses, onto peoples’ cars.
To shamelessly steal a joke from my thesis advisor, the “Decatur difference” is that the trees will kill you.
But today the trees reached a devious new low. Today it didn’t rain (yay!). And yet, when I turned away from Piedmont Park and into the main drag of Atlanta’s small-but-hearty downtown, there was a fallen tree blocking all but one lane of the six-lane road.
It is July in Atlanta, and that means one thing: it is monsoon season. When I moved here as a 12-year-old, I didn’t realize that Atlanta is actually secretly the subtropics. But, after 10 summers here, I can safely confirm: the weather here is surprisingly similar to India’s.
Every afternoon at about 3pm–starting last week, and (according to the weather report) continuing until we all drown–the skies open up with the wrath of god. The streets flood, lightening strikes, and traffic comes to the standstill that happens every time that Atlanta has weather. Like clockwork, it clears up by dinnertime and leaves the streets steaming in a way normally reserved for black markets in dystopian science fiction films.
It’s driving me a little stir crazy, not to mention ruining my shoes. I am not a fan. (Looking on the bright side, I am learning a lot about how quickly leather dries.) I need to find some way to occupy my now-shoeless time, and I have found it: Flowers in the Attic.
On Saturday, the family and I ventured up to Winslow, AR to stay with my grandparents for Christmas. After the 14-hour drive (complete with our very own simple dog) to my grandparents’ my family loaded back up into the car for the 2 1/2 hour drive to Tulsa, OK that we make every year in order to placate my sister and me. It may have been 8 years ago, but dammit, we are still bitter about being uprooted.
In Tulsa I got to see a few of my friends who were in town and eat some Mexican fusion, so it was good times all around. We spent part of the day wandering around Utica Square, in December, in Tulsa, without jackets. You guys, this is freaking me out. The first year we went back to Tulsa, my friends and I hung out at the zoo because we were 12 and what the hell else were we going to do. We had to cower inside the rain forest exhibit to restore feeling to our extremities. This weather is unseasonably nice, is what I’m saying.
Because I am from the Midwest, this mostly makes me idly wonder what God is going to do in order to even the karmic scales. I’m thinking a hail storm, tomorrow. Given that my grandparents’ power just went out (they live on a mountain in a town with 399 people), this may, in fact, be the route that He has chosen to go. Still not worse than a tornado! Continue reading →