Even the ice cubes, here in Indianapolis where it is 84º Fahrenheit at the airport, where I have overestimated the humidity (it is only 58%; I had thought 65), even the ice cubes taste stale. I drink my water from bottles and the Britta to avoid it, let rivulets overflow my lips as I drink to travel, frigid, down the overwarm lines of my throat, darken the dark shirt even further.
It is hot, humid, and it will get hotter. I am glad for the air conditioning, minimal as it is in this midday heat, and I stretch my memory back to recall Death Valley. There we pitched camp at 2 PM and let the dry desert heat bake us into shells of ourselves, there in the shade of a much-abused tree, where a bedraggled air conditioner cooled the camp store to 80 and that was enough to bring goosebumps to the arms; showers were a $1.25 luxury and one is not to drink the water from them. There, as here, the heat seemed to seep into my bones and slow me down.
I opened the car door to a cicada today; one had gotten in somehow and crawled over my hand in a frantic effort to escape the prison-bakery of a Ford Taurus (my Shinkun is in the shop, having his door replaced at last) that has spent six glorious hours in the sunlight. I recoiled in disgust, and then again at the realization that I was overreacting to a simple living creature.
I have things to tell you, O Best Beloved, but these things will do for now. I wear open-toed shoes to my clerkship because I forgot my closed-toe ones, but it is dark and nobody notices. The staff does not greet us, but he will happily answer questions while we watch over his shoulders - the Emergency Radiology room in the daytime is little more than a glorified Orthopaedics room, and I much prefer to hunt down the other residents who are reading chest X-rays or CT scans. I can only take so many films of pins in bones.
I got a letter today mentioning that I had received a $600 scholarship to the AAFP conference in Kansas City. It is from the IAFP, and if I read it correctly I have just received a second scholarship and we may be able to afford to fly out to the conference rather than drive nine hours each way, although I am still considering driving. I was also informed that my clerkship in August starts on the first business day and so I will be able to stay for the dance on the 31st and drive back the following day. Is anyone else going to Kansas City?
And now I must read - if I am Very Good, O Best Beloved, if I behave, I think I could take this month and be ready for my Boards in early July rather than mid-July. I would like that. I would like to soak up every minute of my vacation like a sponge in so much tropical water. I would love to be completely done with my USMLE Step 2 CK by the Fourth, so that I could enjoy the holiday without a single twinge of guilt.
Summer is a wall of inertia that twists the bones and savages the mind. The sound of cicadas crying out for reproduction circulates endlessly around the room, the house, the neighborhood in which I sit. They are horrible, squalid little beasts of pleasure and instinct.
Sometimes, in the summer, so am I.