The ONLY word that usually springs to mind when Americans hear “Arizona.”
They are dead wrong.
Arizona’s also got spectacular forested mountains, a lot of snow, skiing, and bitter cold remote lands as well as scorching desert.
Topography’s not the focus of today’s post.
Southern Arizona — including Phoenix — is desert. It’s got serious heat for sure.
And something else that’s not written about nearly enough.
Unmoving air once the heat arrives.
A hot limp air that enfolds the body. Wraps itself around and tightens. Perhaps imperceptibly at first.
You feel squeezed for air yet can’t say why. Your skin becomes taut. Strains for moisture. Reaches for relief.
You hunger for whatever’s oppressing to lift. It does not. The force presses only more on the body, the lungs, the breath.
Your body trembles. Rattles like bones dried by the desert.
Yet you are not moving. You’re frozen. Frozen?! How can that be!? It’s a blistering dry 100+++ (37.7 C!)
You. Are. Inanimated.
Then the Force who’s sucking your life your life your movement is revealed. Reveals itself really.
Not a wind. Not a breeze. Not a whiff.
Utter. Stoppage. Of. Air. Flow.
“Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind” sang Donovan.
Well, yeah! Were there wind to catch!!
There’s Just Heat. Suffocating Immobilizing Unmoving Heat.
Do not underestimate heat. Heat kills. This is fact. The body on its own terms is not designed to survive brutal deserts.
That’s why you won’t see condos in the Gobi desert! Or, locally, Arizona’s Sonoran desert.
Heat gets all the attention. Deservedly, to a point.
Yet the Stillness is its Evil Sister. The unaddressed secreted wizard behind the curtain. Bolstering a suffocating hot.
Not a whiff of breeze to “cool” the skin. Haha! As if!
Let me say upfront: Heat is brutal.
Its stillness is, what, the nail in the coffin?
Yet another example of God’s infinite cruelty?!
I mean, c’mon God, your earliest human creations survived in f-ing deserts! You put them there!
So for their survival why not equip them with tiny pop-up fans on their hands?!
I mean, if I’m God, I’m gonna give my “beloved children” a means to a BREEZE while they’re forced to live in and bake in the damn desert that I created!
The unmoving of air in a desert inferno oppresses oppresses oppresses. That needs more airtime — =no pun intended.
There, my work is done. Note: that’s desert, not dessert. Oh what relief in a typo!