It was to have been the summer of grand plans, but it quickly became the summer of small mercies.
The grand plans involved working a couple of days each week, interning a few more, and leaving whichever office I was in at 5pm every day to revel in the gloriously long evenings. There would be parks and evening movies. There would be weekend beach trips and the odd museum. There would be brunches – preferably deeply, deeply fried brunches.
The grand plans did not involve waking up bathed in sweat. They did not involve mandatory afternoon siesta-comas. They did not involve fans carefully triangulated to ensure a constant breeze, regardless of how you slumped on the couch. They did not involve growing mounds of napkins piled on the brunch table, as I tried to staunch the flow of perspiration from my brows.
The heat wave turned friends into enemies. The huge, south-facing windows that had kept our apartment warm all winter became our oppressors. The cat that loved to sleep in the crook of my arm became a cruel, fur-shedding harridan at 6am every morning when she insisted that it was snuggle time.
On the weekends I found myself – as I tried to make the most of the summer’s plethora of free, mostly outdoor, in-direct-sunlight events – dreaming of returning to the office on Monday, to the air conditioning and the pretext for sitting perfectly, blissfully still.
The grand plans evaporated away and were replaced by small mercies. Key lime pie shakes at Jimmy’s Diner. Micheladas wherever and whenever they could be found. Air-conditioning on the L train. Furtive evening drinks in McCarren Park. Hidden, shaded beer gardens. Home-made ice cream sandwiches; toffee ice cream pressed between a couple of Anzac biscuits.