The Wide Angle: It’s all just so sticky

Published 7:56 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

I had a random thought the other day. Well, it was more of a musing and quite simply it was this: It’s rather amazing the amount of thought processes one has walking short distances.

In the roughly four to five seconds it took me to walk from my office to the breakroom the other day, it contained no less than four thoughts. They were a jumbled mess that meant very little to each other and were as follows:

• There’s not nearly enough coffee to get through the day;

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• Can I get to the breakroom walking inside teach tile and not stepping on a line;

• How many thoughts can a person have on the way to the breakroom; and

• Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

The reason I let you in on what accounts to a walking narration that could be taken straight from Monty Python is that on Tuesday, I experienced much the same process.

I walked out of my house, laptop bag slung over my shoulder, the life-giving nectar of coffee in my right hand, ready as I’ll ever be to take on the new day. In that briefest of moments, during which my right foot stepped out first, I very nearly turned around and went back inside.

In short, it was disgusting outside. The heat had yet to encroach on my senses, but the air had taken on a quality of walking face-first into a sponge. A very wet sponge — that smelled vaguely of wet dog and grass.

I hate humidity. I’m not fond of heat, yet this week we are all experiencing the heavy, inflamed, moistness that is a Minnesota heat wave, which suspiciously feels like Florida.

Readers of this column will possibly remember my feelings on summer compared to my feelings of fall and winter. Don’t like the prior, love the latter.

Maybe you’ve heard this before too, but it boils down to this thought process, which I’m evidently pretty proud of considering how many times I tend to voice it in a given summer.

During the winter and fall, you can continue to pile on layers to your heart’s content in order to keep warm. In the summer, you can only take so much off before you’re illegal.

I know a lot of law enforcement. That’s not fair to them to enforce.

That’s how Tuesday felt. I just wanted to lay in a minimum of clothing the State of Minnesota allows by law in front of an air conditioner vent, lamenting that my life doesn’t include Iceland.

I’ve always found extreme heat just plain rude in its need to weigh a person down with increased perspiration. By the time the weather begins cooperating again, you just feel grimy, sticky and uncomfortable.

It’s a feeling that comes off in the shower — eventually — but you’re essentially doing it to feel the same the next day because heat waves rarely come in one day. That’s more of a heat ripple.

Sure, I’m starting to see signs that summer might be coming to an end. There’s been rumored and distant talk of pumpkin-spiced things. I see Hy-Vee has Halloween candy out already and we’re starting to play football.

Still, we’re still finding ourselves having to wade through an atmosphere that feels clingy and needy. It’s part of living here, I know, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

And I’m already starting the day with the minimum amount of clothes. I can’t take much more off.