Okay. It's been raining for a week and it's cold and it's April 22. So what? It's got me thinking about weather and sex. No, that's just to keep you reading. It's not about sex. It's about what you're able to manage and what makes you an unhinged, depressed psycho bitch. Dallas did that to me. It was over a 100 every day for three months. It never rained except for massive, insane thunderstorms which frequently featured small tornadoes and once included baseball size hail that smashed all the windshields in the new car lots that were as common in Dallas as cherry blossoms in Washington DC or 7-11s in New Jersey. Anyway, people also got sucked down drainage ditches and were drowned in flash floods.

"This is excessive," I told my ex-husband as I watched frogs rain down from the sky (also a lie). I felt betrayed by the weather in Dallas, I felt compromised and squelched. It was always hot and then freezing in all the stores where AC turned Dallas shopping women into righteous victims of the heat. It was fine to spend all day buying shoes because where else would you go?

I insisted on walking, pushing my poor toddler in a stroller made for a pedestrian city like New York, the heat turning my gorgeous baby into a sweaty mess. The Dallas police used to pull over and inquire as to whether I needed a ride, probably suspecting I was an illegal immigrant stealing someones baby. The buggy would crash down on the too high curbs and my baby's teeth would smash together. One day I was running on a treadmill in the air conditioned gym and watched a small tornado whip across our view, a tornado like something in a cartoon, a tornado that seemed ridiculous. I turned to the person next to me to say something like, "Hey, look at that tornado," and realized I was running next to Dennis Hopper. He looked to be over his druggie days. Once I made the mistake of not recognizing the musician Lou Reed and told him a lame dream I had about my mother.

"Why are you telling me this," he asked looking grumpy. So, I decided not to say anything to Dennis Hopper.

New Mexico made me feel like a writer, like a sexy, in control, slinky writer. It was hot but cool at night, the air was clear and never humid. I ran in Taos effortlessly, my muscles oiled by the heat but it never felt too hot. I pinned flowers in my hair and rarely sweated. I saw that if I stayed there I would become one of those women wearing expensive hippie skirts and trailing scarves. It was not an unpleasant fantasy.

I grew up in New Jersey on a farm. We had no heat on the top floor where I slept and my hair used to freeze to the pillow. There was no AC and summers were spent flipping the pillow in futile search of the cool spot. But I was young and weather didn't matter. I liked things to happen like Blizzards and wild thunderstorms because they supported my belief that life was out-of-control and random. I would wander the fields and pretend to be Catherine in Wuthering Heights or Bathsheba Everden in Far from the Madding Crowd. I longed for lightning to strike the ground near me so I could feel the electric charge.

And now Chicago. Hot enough to kill people in the summer. Cold enough to kill people in the winter. Dark and gray and endlessly perverse.  Can this be a metaphor for my current state of mind? Hmmm.


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