Friday, May 26, 2006

Out of the Frying Pan

New Mexico heat hits you like a weapon. Step out of the door and it physically assaults you; the sun pounds at you, defeats you, strips you bare. But, everyone will tell you, it's a dry heat. That means that if you step into the shade it feels degrees cooler, but if you leave your mouth open you'll be dehydrated in minutes. The desert sands are probably strewn with the dried out corpses of mouth-breathing East coasters.

Texas heat was more like stepping into a sauna, then having a very large attendant firmly tuck an enormous down comforter around you. The kids still talk with awe about the Magnadoodle that was left in the car one afternoon and turned into a strange, warped piece of alien art. Put a pen on the dash and it would droop and sag within a couple of hours.

We lived like bats - staying inside during the heat of the day and only emerging, blinking, when the sun was safely down. Unless there was a tornado warning of course - then like all the other idiots around we would race outside to gape at the sky, because if you're going to be sucked up into the heavens you want to enjoy the whole thing. The entire neighborhood would be out there, pointing and trying to focus video cameras.

'D'you think it'll touch down?'

'Nah, that one's too little. Not like the one last year. That one near took off the roof!'

'Except it didn't touch down either.'

'Nah. But if it did, it would have.'

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