I Hate Summer

I hate summer.

With the onset of its equinox boiling in the sky, insects begin to bloom like teeming gardens. From wood, curtains, carpets one wanders through a seething soup of unwelcome life for three unwelcome months.

I hate summer colors. In the sky they are blank and innocuous, with none of the sculptural intensity of clouds, save for the occasional low cirrus ceilings loaded with moisture – so low I could reach up and pull them towards me, trying to shake some sense into them.

On clothes summer colors are loud and foolish. They lack subtlety and wit. Summer clothes lack style – their only objective is to display bodies and limbs made taut through a spring of diet and torture.

I hate summer foods. They are light and lack interest. They are delicate. They labor under the misapprehension that just because one is enduring the inexcusable summer heat, one can only consume edibles whose only advantage is that they are cold and/or simple. Recipes are designed to keep one out of the kitchen – but has no one ever heard of delivery? Some say that ice cream is a summer food – I will say that if you consider ice cream a one-season food, then I can only pity you.

Foods spoil in the heat. Stomachs are in an uproar with flus and viruses – whether for 24 hours or for a week. I should know – I’m just getting over some sort of bug-bout myself.

I hate the summer heat – it builds and builds inside me like a sealed cauldron: a mushroom cloud waiting inside my torso. It sickens my blood. It saddens my heart. I hate the summer heat at night – it makes the darkness fidgety and nervous, like a jungle that is blistered with impatience.

I hate the summer air. It is thick and lifeless. It stuns the flowers and trees, turning their DNA sere and feverish – shocking them into losing their color. The viscous atmosphere smothers all breath and stills the wind. From each of their four corners of the map they turn their faces away, sullen and quiet.

And most of all, I hate summer in Southern California.

Because I know that things are so much worse everywhere else…and so I shouldn’t be complaining at all.

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5 responses to “I Hate Summer

  1. As a fellow Californian who has had to deal with not only the seasonal heat but drought, I applaud your rant against summer. I hate opening my closet and staring at the short-sleeved/sleeveless, gauzy, loose-fitting tops and dresses that make up my summer wardrobe. They felt great at the beginning of the summer, but now that the dog days of August are here, I’m sick of them, especially since they aren’t that flattering in the first place. Sometimes, in defiance of the weather, I’ll wear a long jacket or a black suit, though I know too well I’ll be soaked in sweat by lunch hour.

    I mentioned to a friend in Minnesota that sitting indoors all day with the AC on because it’s too hot to go outdoors is just as stifling as hunkering down next to a space heater during a long snap of subzero temperatures. She laughed, but she has no idea. I yearn for the chill of a fall night, and the sound of rain falling on my roof.

    • You can always put on more clothes, but there’s a limit to how many you can take off. Once you’re naked and it’s still miserably hot, you’re out of luck. Plus in winter you can snuggle with your sweetie and pets, which is right out in summer.

  2. How about this? Think about what it’s like to work outside through the summer. Boat varnishing is deilghtful in April or October. In July, August, and September, when it’s 95 degrees with 80% humidity? Not so much. Never mind rain — we’ve hardly had a cloud for a month, and in mid-afternoon there’s no way to work. I’m out early, and I’m staying late, and offering thanks on a daily basis for the miracle of air conditioning.

    On the other hand — have you read Tennessee Wililams’s description of the “rocking horse weather” of Southern California? I found it, just for you. It always makes me smile. It’s from his story, “The Mattress by the Tomato Patch.”

    The wonderful rocking-horse weather of California goes rocking over our heads and over the galleries of Olga’s summer hotel. It goes rocking over the acrobats and their slim-bodied partners, over the young cadets at the school for flyers, over the ocean that catches the blaze of the moment, over the pier at Venice, over the roller coasters and over the vast beach-homes of the world’s most successful kept women – not only over those persons and paraphernalia, but over all that is shared in the commonwealth of existence. It has rocked over me all summer, and over my afternoons at this green and white checkered table in the yellow gelatine flood of a burlesque show. It has gone rocking over accomplishments and defeats; it has covered it all and absorbed the wounds with the pleasures and made no discrimination. For nothing is quite so cavalier as this horse. The giant blue rocking-horse weather of Southern California is rocking and rocking with all the signs pointing forward. It’s plumes are smoky blue ones the sky can’t hold and so lets grandly go of…

    See? Summer can be ok!

  3. I hate summer because it takes an hour and fifteen minutes to mow my lawn. The rest of it doesn’t bother me.

  4. I absolutely loved this – there were things about summer I couldn’t express, and you did it perfectly.

    First of all as a nature guide, I hear passionate arguments on both sides – hate the heat, hate the cold. I actually love both, and I love extremes. But summer has some very un-charming parts to it.

    I can’t stand summer colors. You said it way better than I could have – the deep, ugly monoculture greens and blues. Nothing attractive or sexy about them. The opposite of passion.

    I don’t have any nice summer clothes. The one thing I love about Fall are those lovely plums and pinks, the scarlets that make my face glow. Tank tops? I just look like some lame body builder. Ugh. Not feminine.

    Strangely I love hot coffee and soups in the winter. If you can stand it, it’s one way to beat the summer food “blahs”. Peppermint ice cream? Absolutely a year round treat! Lemonade though? Only summer.

    And I hate that I can’t toss my groceries in the trunk and go out for a nice meal for hours afterwards. If there’s one nice thing about New England below-zero temperatures, it’s that your car trunk is a refrigerator.

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