Summertime Love/Hate Relationships

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Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

A Lucy King writing prompt.

If the opening image of this piece reminds you of something from Dante’s Inferno, then you’ve either read the book (maybe the crib notes) or you’ve been to Texas in the month of August.

I’m pretty sure here in Texas during August and September we experience and qualify for at least a third of Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell.

The older I get the less tolerant I am of the sweltering heat. I try to work in the yard, but I quickly turn into a puddle of sweat which waters a lawn screaming for moisture of any kind. I walk from my truck across the grocery store parking lot only to lose ten pounds of water weight before I get to the front doors. I watch a thermometer nailed to a shade tree push mercury out its top until it begins to look like an emaciated Rhode Island Red.

I hate the heat, and yet I love it so.

How could someone who hates the heat be in love with the heat at the same time you ask?

Okay you didn’t ask, but here’s how.

With the heat of August comes the sweet thrumming and buzzing of the Cicada. They’re our own little “Boy Band” (the males make the sound you know) crooning out strains of southern harmony.

Many an evening the missus and I like to sit out on the veranda (we’re in the south y'all. Most everybody’s got a veranda) sipping wine, cussing the heat and listening to the boys sing love songs like Sirens hailing unsuspecting sailors.

Yeah, we love the melodies of the Katydid and in a way, love the heat which brings them.

Still hate to sweat though.

But there is no love hate relationship with these darned West Nile carrying, Malaria inducing, Yellow Fever spreading, God forsaken, pieces of crap known as mosquitoes.

Long breath.

The only thing they’re good for is bird fodder. And I pity the poor bird that actually eats them. I can’t think of a death miserable enough for them whiny, ear buzzing, blood sucking monsters.

And because in Texas everything has to be bigger, of course a Texas mosquito is big enough to carry off a kid.

Wait, you thought kid as in…kid?

Nah, never happens in our family.

We just load ourselves — our children and our grand kids when they all come over — with so much hot sauce and Cajun spices after the vile creatures drink their fill they fly away and explode.

Our very own brand of fireworks.

We make sure those skeeters never make it to become mature, blood sucking, baby goat stealing monsters.

So thanks to Lucy King for the prompt. It made me think of a few things I sometimes take for granted having lived with them all these years.

The sweltering heat, the lullabies of the Cicada, the pesky swarms of mosquitoes, and most of all, outside bug zappers and indoor air conditioning.

What’s not to love?

Let’s keep in touch: paul@pgbarnett.com

Written by

A published author enjoying married Texas bliss. Dog person living with cats. A writer of Henry James' stories. Featured In MuckRack. Top Writer In Fiction.

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