Thursday, July 05, 2012
Yesterday at this very moment, I stepped outside of a motel in Blaine, MN, in search of the nearest Wal-Mart because my throbbing toe looked like some foul war wound. On my way to the john, middle of the night, I stubbed it, bad. I don't know childbirth, but for men at least, stubbing toes--and losing toenails--has to rank with the most acute human pain possible. I howled. The toe bled. I needed a band-aid.
The temp outside yesterday morning at this time--and I'm not kidding--was 83 degrees. Let me write that out, as if this were a personal check--"eighty-three frickin' degrees." In Minnesota too, don't you know. That's right. I'm not crazy. The average daily temperature in the Twin Cities on July 4, I thought I heard, was 83. It was 83 degrees just after six in the morning, the sun a pale orange disk just above the horizon.
I say that because this morning is something physics-types call aphelion--get this, the day this splendid planet of ours is actually farthest from the sun. That's right, FARTHEST. If we were closest right now, the American continent would be an iron skillet and we'd all be bacon.
This morning I opened both windows and the patio door, stuck fans in two of three orifices, and started to shoot morning air into this room. Now it's cooling. Cool, of course, is a relative term; while it's not 83 degrees fahrenheit, like it was yesterday in Minnesota (in Minnesota!!!), the temp right here and now has to be significantly above 70. Let's put it this way: right now, behind this desk, it's probably 15 degrees cooler than it was last night behind this desk.
Weather people claim we're 36 hours away from relief. Two more days of stifling heat, two more days of peak usage on a gadzillion air conditioners, two more days of guzzling lemonade, and we'll be able to gather our senses.
Seriously, the word for the day is aphelion, which describes exactly where we are this morning--solar system-wise--literally as far as we can ever get from the sun. I'm serious. As lunatic as that sounds, right now I wouldn't have it any other way.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 6:36 AM