Aug 31, 200602:47 PMThe Life
Aug 31, 2006 - 02:47 PMWhen you initially move into a desert community, nobody really expects you to stay, until you've survived at least one summer.
So the first question you'll be asked at a party is not: "What do you do?"
Or even: "What's your sign?"
Uh-uh. Upon hearing that you're relatively new in town, people will invariably ask: "Have you been through a summer yet?"
And they'll have a certain little gleam in their eyes. They know there's a better-than-even chance you'll turn tail and run, when faced with the scorching reality of the desert's hot season.
When I first moved out here--in the middle of a July heat wave, two years back--this valley seemed like another planet. An infinitely hotter, sun-scalded planet. It was strange, stepping outside the car's air conditioning into what felt like the mouth of a superheated pottery kiln.
But now I'm a veteran. In fact, I'll often roll down the window during my afternoon commute, just to taste the desiccated air.
And when I'm introduced to newcomers at parties, I get that certain little gleam in my eye...