Before it was even eight o’clock this morning, I sought out patches of shade to keep cool on my three-block walk from Abelha Gulosa, the padaria, to school. It is warm today. And I mean “warm” in the most understated kind of way possible. It is warrrrrrrm. Sitting in the air-conditioned padaria with Kendra this morning at breakfast, she glanced down at her khakis and button down shirt and said she felt she was wearing too much. It was 7:30. I glanced down at my slip-on cotton dress and said the same. On the walk to school, the early morning sun pressed against the black fabric of my dress and I shook my head, not believing how powerful the rays were so early in the day. It was as if someone were holding a warm iron against my skin: the weight of sunshine.
During first period, my students were warm and sweaty, just sitting at their desks. It was quiet in our classroom, too, while they read each other’s writing. Twenty minutes after class began, I had already finished my first bottle of water. When they began to move around, the temperature increased in the room, so I sent half of the class outside so they could spread out and cool down. During my second period, we went to the library with airconditioning to work on research, and during my third period, at noon exactly, I didn’t even object when a student turned the fan on–even though the noise of it is so loud I can barely think.
It isn’t oppressive–the kind where a person can’t think straight, the kind where a person can’t do anything but sit on a stoop and stare at the slow passing of things. There isn’t much humidity today, as there sometimes is, and which makes walking around unbearable. Just the intensity of the rays. A breeze moves the rays around a bit so they don’t rest too heavily on our shoulders and weighs us down. But it is a warm breeze, so it’s not refreshing. In the middle of the night last night, I awoke a sodden mess, my hair awry from tossing and turning to position myself in the direction of the fan’s mechanical breeze. The midnights and mornings are usually comfortably cool, but even within the first few minutes of the day, deep in the darkness of midnight, I knew today would be warm. Warrrrrm.
In the distance I can see the clouds gathering height and moving closer to our school. It’s going to storm. I hope it storms.