The last really hot day, so they say. The last really hot day, I whisper to myself, trying to imagine the normal summer that is being forecast, cool evenings, moderately high temperatures, dewy mornings, recovering lawns, even rain. Rain.
Summer heat has made me careless. I drop litter, kick an empty can along the dirty sidewalk. What's another one in all this dust anyway. In the mornings after not enough sleep when I realise that it's another scorching hot day, I grab whatever washed out tshirt outfit is lying around, drink a cup of bitter coffee and push my callused feet into the worn sandals. Door handles are sticky, the hallway to my office is packed with used-up air.
I briefly wonder if this is what it will be like in the last weeks, days, before human life will disappear from the planet. This lethargic couldn't care less approach, this looking away if you can help it. Just trod on as if, kick all the empty cans along the sidewalk, does it matter at all.
Later I sit in the passenger seat where a sign tells me that this is a rental car which I must treat with care because I crashed my car last week. Nothing dramatic, dented metal, scratched paint. While we stood in the midday sun, the other driver and I, waiting for the police to lecture us that we were both at fault, she told me her life story. Or bits of it. A long string of words, on and on, while I nodded and smiled and the sweat was running down my back and R's mailbox telling me he was currently unavailable.
The rental car is a testosterone dream fulfilment and all I need is to sit back and watch the dried up trees and the thick layer of brittle leaves on the forest floor while R happily chauffeurs me around, fiddling with the gadgets. Will it look like this, I wonder again, dry and dusty, sluggish. Branches hanging like exhausted arms unable to hold life. The river shrunk to a thin line meandering in a bed of grey pebbles.
Trees and rivers. No life without them. Treat rental cars with care.
|picture credit: B. Westhoff/General-Anzeiger|