Here in the sonoran desert everything is dry for 11 out of 12 months. Temperatures soar in the triple digits all summer long, 'but it's a dry heat', we always say. The importance of this simple distinction cannot be overstated. For 4-6 weeks we have a monsoon season, a necessary and often beautiful piece of desert life. The rains bring enough water to last the well adapted plantlife through the whole year. Lighting floods the sky in bright and bold cracks, leaving the impression that the heavens above us are a sphere which could shatter and rain down upon us in jagged pieces. Each storm builds up for days untill the clouds are so empregnated by the moisture they can hold no more. Rain falls hard and fast, cleansing everything, giving new life to the desert, offering fresh breath to its inhabitants. In the days preceeding the storm we desert creatures, adapted to the dry heat, suffer long and hard at the hands of humidity. Coolers fail to work, sweat fails to dry, the air is thick and muggy with moisture, a substance our lungs seem dubious to process.
Today both of my coolers refuse to refridgerate the air in my small apartment. I attempt an afternooon nap to escape the heat, instead I lie sweating, tossing and turning, eventually conceeding to the necessity of leaving my home, at least until the sun has set. After the sun has made its retreat the air cools considerably, its still hot in the house but the air outside is cool and brisk. So here I am in my little yard watching Athena select one piece of kibble at a time from her dish, carefully placing each bit on the cement, before consuming it. She's ritualistic in the way that I am, and I love that about her.
I love it here in this little yard. The porch light reaches just far enough to illuminate a small metal table, upon which I spread a book, an ashtray, and a glass of water. Nestled in the heart of downtown I hear all the sounds of the city, spreading outward to fill all of the open spaces. Cars speed to and from, endlessly pursueing who knows what. In the distance a train whistles. That bittersweet song gives me a sense of peace and comfort. A cat pitter patters on the roof of a shed, taunting the neighborhood dogs. Athena lets out a solitary bark in the direction of the alley, no doubt in response to something imperceptible to me.
I love it here in my own shadowed corner of the world. Behind my tall fences I lean back and listen to the cacophony. A bathrobe barely draped about my freshly showered frame, and I bare my soul, here, to these pages. The world oblivious to my very existence.