I’ve been praying for Seattle summer to magically appear for months now. When it finally seemed like the clouds had parted, my life seemed set. I haven’t been in the city very often because I’ve been traveling with work. But even when I get fed up with the holier-than-thou-passive-aggressive Seattle attitude, there’s something about a Seattle summer that is wonderful.
Attitudes change. People seem more manageable and friendlier. The natives come out of hibernation and the city comes to life. It reminds me of what made me gravitate to this city in the first place.
I spend most of these perfectly sunny days soaking up sunshine to get a hint of color on my pasty body, which usually surpasses tan and ends up a nice shade of lobster red. My preferred haunt is some sort of rooftop, whether it’s my apartment complex or a bar, using the excuse that my body needs the Vitamin D.
A lot of apartment complexes and restaurants here don’t have air conditioning. To be fair, there are only a few days a summer that are stifling, but now that I’m on my second summer, I thought maybe I had dodged the worst of it. That’s when the 90 plus degree days hit.
I transform into a new being when I’m hot. I don’t know what it does to me, but when I’m in a brand new apartment with no AC, a rage gets triggered in me that I can’t push down.
I know I’ve been begging for the sunshine, but as I sat sweating in my apartment drinking ice water directly in front of a fan, I cursed the fact that I couldn’t cool off.
I went for a walk around Green Lake, as I usually do in the morning on my days off to clear my head. But it was stifling and packed with people. So when I saw the third dog go by being pushed in a stroller by its owner I lost my shit with the insanity that was clearly overtaking the population because of the heat.
People at work were talking about plans for the weekend, and I told them I was going to come in and sleep on the office floor because it is air conditioned. They laughed. I was only partially joking, as now I’ve moved into my living room and am sleeping on my futon so I can be as close to the open window as possible.
I leave the window open once there’s a breeze, securing my place as the weirdo neighbor that walks by dressed inappropriately without a care because I’m desperate to cool down a degree. I don’t live there to make friends anyways.
I walked to a Starbucks, laptop in tow to get some work done. I had my messenger bag diagonally across my chest for the walk there in the sunshine, and was feeling proud of myself for matching my olive green fingernails to my top like a champ.
I arrived at the coffee shop, makeup dripping as if I never even took a shower. I ordered a coffee, wiping sweat from my face. And I’m not talking a light glow of sweat. I’m talking red face, disgusting, dripping sweat. I sat down and took off my messenger bag, realizing that a cute guy was sitting across from me, hoping that I had been inside long enough to stop sweating when I looked down and saw a huge sweat stain between my cleavage on the top I was so proud of just minutes ago. I sighed and got back to work. This heat was not my friend.
Friday was gorgeous, so I dealt with the heat the only way I knew how…don’t go back to the apartment.
I went to happy hour with a friend, sipping ice cold drinks and sitting under the shade of an umbrella. I got a pedicure because there was AC in the nail salon. I listened to the woman doing my nails chastise the bad support in my shoes. I told her I like them anyways because they were cute and knew full well they were terrible for me, but I would likely continue wearing them until I am forced to switch to something else.
Some friends and I went to West Seattle, which is one of my happy places out here. Put me near Alki Beach, and I’m a happy camper. We decided to sit near the water, order shaved ice and people watch.
I waited in the line in the stifling hot restaurant, sweating my ass off and deciding what flavor of ice I wanted. One choice was “boozy,” and while normally that would be right up my alley, all I wanted was something hydrating and refreshing.
By the time I got to the counter, I was delirious with the heat, and I had sufficiently bitched about how long it was taking people to order, wondering how they didn’t know what they wanted by the time they got to the front of the line.
The woman behind the counter was shockingly peppy considering the level of heat she was stuck in. I told her I wanted the passion fruit flavor. Done. Then she asked me if I wanted ice cream under it, and I looked at her like she had five heads.
“Ice cream, under a snow cone?”
She nodded her head, eyes wide, as if trying to convince me that this was the best idea ever. Apparently that’s how they roll in Hawaii.
I was delirious with what I was convinced was the beginning of heat stroke. I stood in silence, staring at her with a furrowed brow in silence as if she was speaking a different language. I was now the person eating up time at the front of the line. Maybe everyone was suffering from time delayed decision making because of the heat.
“Fine, I’ll do it.”
She smiled and asked me more questions about mixing flavors, ice cream flavors, etc. I wanted to tell her that this should be on the menu so a chronic over-thinker like me wouldn’t hold up the line, wondering if my multi flavor combo would be refreshing or make me want to vomit one bite in.
It turned out to be delicious, with a little prompting from my friends behind me on making good flavor combo choices.
So we sat by the water as the sun set, people watching, and enjoying the chill of the evening and the ice. Now that my moodiness caused by the heat was cured, it was all stories and laughter as usual.
I’ve realized I have to get out of the heat of the apartment and into the AC to make myself a tolerable human. After all, the sunshine will soon disappear and I’ll be praying for it to show it’s face again.