I open the door. To Hades. My right thumb begins to melt as I push the door wider. I’m going to be unable to grasp scissors or open my mail. I’m going to have to move in with our neighborhood opossum to find food. And even then, he’s the only one who can open the trash cans.
(An aside: Opossums have opposable toes as does my husband. We call them tingers (toes+fingers). He can write, pick up hotdogs that fall into the pool, and scratch the cat without lifting a hand.)
My son runs off into the inferno. My daughter toddles after him. Meanwhile, sweat has begun to wriggle down my back and leap off my muffin top. (Yes, all my shorts are made for one-baby Alex. Two-baby Alex wears big t-shirts and denial.)
I can barely see my children between the radiating waves of heatstroke pulsing off the stones.
Kids? I croak. My throat is a prune. I suddenly remember that I haven’t drank water in a month. My temples pulse to the beat, WATER! WATER!, like a bad techno song where the guy in the spandex to my right is insisting his hands are a box. THEY ARE NOT A BOX, DUDE. It’s the drugs.
I wobble forward. I’m confused. Where is my house? Where is my sink? How many children should I be looking for?
My son says: RUN MAMA!
I think that a large desert carnivore is after him. But I CANNOT RUN. My feet are now glued to the deck with dirt and sweat and sugar ants. Just as quickly I am being pushed back towards my house by hordes of ants desperate for my cantaloupe-slathered kitchen.
Suddenly, water is flying at me in all directions. Everywhere I move I am somehow still DIRECTLY IN THE LINE OF FIRE.
A giggling naked boy goes flying thru the menacing sprinkler yelling: WATCH ME MAMA.
But my left eye has gone rogue in an attempt to find the coolness of my skull. My blood temperature, once a cool 98.6 degrees, is spiking. All my organs are taking cover. I haven’t peed for three weeks in my kidneys’ attempt to save me.
Yes! Save me! Fly me North! Or at least take my children outside for me.
I need to lay on the couch and die.
I hate summer in Virginia.