Page Two

Summer's hot again.

Page Two
It's late by the time I get to my car. I should have headed out at least an hour ago. At one point in my life, an hour or two in any direction had little value. The Chronicle was built on spending a week or two doing what you didn't think you would be doing but were doing all the time. Weeks that stretched out and seemed to disappear almost immediately. It was a turbulent time. Losing a month at the Chronicle was more commonplace than losing just an hour.

Now, there is family, which defines every issue. Now, an hour is important. Now, there are other people in my life.

This is the best part of the day. Leaving the overly air-conditioned (except for the few places that are under air-conditioned) offices of the Chronicle, warming up walking across the overheated parking lot, then sinking into the stinky, sweaty sauna of a car left unmoved without a window shade for hours in the Texas sun. Some days it burns; mostly it envelops in a suffocating heat that I find to be rather intoxicating.

I sit there. I bake. I sweat. In the days when I had the leisure to enjoy the heat, I mostly hid from it. I spent more than one summer camped out hermit-like in the dark cave of an apartment -- shades drawn, air conditioner humming -- reading or watching TV or listening to music or, not uncommonly, all three at the same time.

Now, there is structure. Family and business, home and office -- there is almost always something to do. Even the summer days flow along, in contrast to the luxurious sludge of previous years. Already it is July, soon mid-July, August, school, and -- did I mention? -- our 20th anniversary. Brace yourself for the onslaught.

We're backlogging letters, and I have nothing to say. I think I'll go outside and look for the quiet that is to be found in this hot day. end story

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heat, summer, Austin Chronicle 20th anniversary

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