Saturday 22 Oct 2016

I'm on Fire
M Alan Roberts

Yesterday, the last day of May, the temperatures reached into the nineties for the first time this year. Today, the projection is 94. Numbers like that at the beginning of June really make a person anticipate late July and August. With the shades lowered completely, the windows closed, the thermostat set at 75, two fans running in the living room and me sitting here totally naked, its still just as hot as anyone, except for maybe Satan, would care for it to be.

All of the trees and plants outside of the house, having recently been saturated thoroughly by frequent springtime thunderstorms, are bursting with life and dark green color. I soak in the scenery through a narrow gap between the Venetian blind and a windowpane near my writing desk. If this year is anything like last year, the intense sunlight of the coming weeks will diminish the chlorophyll levels in them - leaving behind brown devastation.

The local fauna, knowing absolutely nothing about refrigeration, ice making or even folded paper fans, perform their food gathering tasks in a more hurried, stressful state than that of just a few weeks ago. Squirrels that I recently have witnessed frolicking together in the yard are now attacking each other, fighting over last seasons grounded pecans with bloodthirsty passion.

Early this morning, I spied a rabbit nearing the perimeter of my garden. No doubt, this hot hare wanted to sink strong rodent teeth into my young, succulent heads of lettuce. Of course, that's forbidden. I loosed the hound, of the house, chasing him away.

Flies, mosquitoes, wasps, moths and more all take their turns parking vertical on the exterior of my windows, allowing the coolness of the escaping AC to reduce their sweltering. When I step outside for any purpose whatsoever, they swarm me, attempting to drink in any moisture or minerals that may be exiting my skin. I find myself staying inside most of the time now, taking care of any necessary outdoor responsibilities either early in the AM, or in the evening after the sun sets.

I know of one of my neighbours up the road, almost a mile from here, who is grotesquely obese. I mean, this dude must weigh at least 450 pounds. On a trip to the grocery about four days ago, I spotted him in the early afternoon heading from his front door to his broken-shocked truck. His head was as red as a beefsteak tomato fully ripened on the vine. His sweat had formed large dark spots under his armpits and around his neck on his shirt. The liquid weighted the material down and caused it to cling to his flesh.

In my mind, I saw into his body. I watched as his overtaxed heart continued to try to keep up with the demands being placed on it. Further down, I watched his lungs labour to take in enough air. I saw his joints, especially those in his ankles and knees, ready to give out and send him toppling to the scorched earth. I kept checking in my rear view mirror, watching as he inched his way into the vehicle. My bet would be that he now only ventures out of his home when there is no sign of daylight whatsoever.

Heatstroke season is approaching fast. Especially for the elderly, the summer temperatures in Georgia can be deadly. Just as the sun is the primary source for all life, it can also strip the life away from those that do not ensure themselves adequate hydration levels and otherwise proper thermal regulation. The days of summer bring increased necessity for directed attentiveness concerning all aspects of our health. Dehydration profoundly affects the development and onset of all preventable diseases and negative health disorders.

So, Grub Streeters, please be mindful about taking in extra water, especially if you're going to be out and about in the summer sun. Nobody ever expects to be overtaken and downed by the heat until its too late. Pay attention to what your body's telling you. Hydrate yourself constantly and have the best summer of your life!

M Alan Roberts is a radical thinker. He has a gimlet eye for injustice, much as did Frederich Engels, a century and a half before. Still, Roberts finds a way to write effective SEO copy. This suggests both sides of his brain, his mind, work equally well.

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