These hot summer nights

Everything is relative. Two summers ago, I was living in the Colorado Front Range. My house had air conditioning, but even still, the nights during summertime could be stifling. Even with the AC running full blast at night and fans chugging away, it was hard to sleep. The temps that summer would easily hit the triple digits and high eighties or mid-nineties at night outside. Inside, the house, the thermostat usually read 73. I was on a budget. I had to economize, though I knew people who kept their house at 63. It felt like you could hang meat in their house.

This year, the nights are much cooler, dropping down to the mid fifties, but inside the old house, it is hotter. The air doesn’t move very well. And the worst part is Penny, my yellow lab, loves to cuddle when I sleep. I can’t get her far enough away from me on nights like this. So, tonight after a few hours of sleep, I am up again. If I’m awake, I might as well be writing.

I’ve been taking allergy medication just to help me sleep. My mind isn’t running through scenarios anymore and keeping me awake. It’s the damn heat, it’s the hayfever, it’s everything. But the allergy pills eventually knock me out and I sleep too hard. It’s not a restful sleep, it’s like being blackout drunk. So, I spend most of the day wandering around like a zombie, self-medicating again with coffee and tea.

Tonight I just said the hell with it and made a coffee. I’m going to work on the book, because at least my office is cool and the dog leaves me the hell alone. She just doesn’t understand the last thing I need right now is a furry heater putting off 85,000 BTUs all night that can’t be more than three inches away from me. Everytime I go back into my bedroom, she just looks at me with those soulful brown eyes like “What did I do wrong?”

I picked up an assignment tonight, so I’m going to work on that. As much as I would like to work on the book, sometimes if I do that too late, I can’t stop thinking about what comes next. It might still happen. I have 1000 words to write for a law firm on motorcycle injuries. We shall see. The coffee is delicious. The night is quiet. I’m up. Might as well work.

This being awake during the day and sleeping at night thing is a leftover of a life that has changed anyway.