“Man, I swear it’s the hottest summer I’ve ever seen.” I tell Jimmie “This sidewalk feels like it’s burning right through the soles of my sandals.”
It hadn’t rained a drop in seven days and there still isn’t a single cloud in the sky. The heat waves shimmer up from the street in front of us. I give a little chuckled as I think about that scene I saw in a movie; the one where some old cowboys were walking across the desert with no water. Maybe it was one of those spaghetti westerns with Clint Eastwood or some John Wayne flick.
Jimmie responded by wiping the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand, “Right on Man, I sure as hell could use a cold one.” He took of his t-shirt and rubbed down his hair and armpits with it, “and when the hell did they get a swimming pool at John’s place? Last time I was at his apartment, the place looked like it was ready to collapse.”
“I don’t know man, he just said to come around back when we get there. Maybe he’s having a heat stroke or something but you how he is, always scheming up something.”
We hear Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming from about a block away. The music gets a little louder every time one of the little trickles of hot breeze hits us in the face. I hear them laughing each time the music hit a low spot. I wonder how they could possibly be so happy in this miserable heat. As soon as he sees us John gives a big wave and yells, “Water’s cool and beer’s on ice.”
I look at the group and jab Jimmy on the arm. “See what I mean man,” and nod toward a couple of empty chairs. Everybody has their shoes off and their feet dangling in the water. So Jimmie and I make a quick round of hugs, cheek kisses, hand daps and what’s up man, then I grab a Coors from the ice chest and snag one of the aluminum lawn chairs. The nylon straps on the seat are a little ragged but they hold as I plop down and let out a sigh.
The afternoon sun is still burning my neck but I can see the sun is pushing the shade of the maple trees across the yard. I kick off my sandals and stick my feet into the cool water of the blue plastic baby pool. John puts on a new album and we all let the music from ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ flow through us.
The shade finally reaches us and it feels like the temperature drops fifteen degrees as it slides across the pool. I look around at the circle of friends, Kim, Alice, Debbie, John, Jimmie, Danny and Kate. I’m thinking that this feels like I might be in Heaven. Kim hands me a joint…I take a hit… now I know I am.