introspective periscope : peeking inside since Y2K


climate change campouts

6am - 23 july 2o22

"ooooh, i'm a happy camper, i love the summer sun. i love the trees and forest, i'm always having fun! ooooh, i'm a happy camper, i love the clear blue sky, and with the grace of god, i'll camp until i die!"~pamela springsteen

it isn't a surprise that it's hot. we all know about climate change even if some of us deny it. we all keep saying how each subsequent summer is hotter than the last. the rain comes with less frequency, bypassing the city completely more often than not. there have been fewer great thunderstorms that called me back to pittsburgh in the first place. it's just hazy heat that you can see on the horizon or just there, on the road in front of you. everything is giving off hot that distorts the things around until everything is a cartoony sweaty dream.

the air conditioner that kept my bedroom cool over the last twenty something summers--on permanent loan from my parents from that first summer that was so hot that we fought like cats in that little 5 room house. the air conditioner couldn't save us but it saved a lot of nights of summer sleep and bad attitudes since then. last summer was probably the last it could manage to keep a small room cool. i bought us a giant unit that cools the entire first floor of the Bird's Nest in minutes. the little old ac unit in my bedroom chugged along and made lots of jagged crunching sounds as it lurched to life but nothing ever cooled off.

'can we camp out?' he asks me at 9pm when he knows it is his bedtime and that i might stay up alone. 'nah,' i reply, 'i'm sure it's fine up there by now.'

there are 3 box fans in the windows of the second floor pulling the hot air out. i had a whole system figured out that kept the place relatively cool for the first few summers but the box fans cannot keep up. the apartment, once part of an old historic hotel, is cut up strangely upstairs and the air flow has been cut back to non-existent on days like this. the air feels stagnant like an old attic. it smells hot.

"grab your pillow and blanket," i tell him as i reach for my own. "friday night camp-out!"

he spread out his blanket on the floor of the living room and i put my pillows and my aunt's old white bedspread on the teal velvet couch. even the cat snuggled in for the night near my feet. and this is how we'll probably sleep for the next couple nights at least--around a cedar chest coffee table instead of a campfire; with blankets and pillows instead of a tent or sleeping bags. my snoring doesn't effect him--he passed out immediately. the couch is comfortable and i was not far behind. i'm still up early, still anxious for no reason and all the reasons.

i snuck downstairs at 5am in the pre-dawn light and tried counting cars but there were none to count so early on a Saturday morning when it feels like everyone has left town to get close to the water. so here i am, awake and quiet, watching him sleep, unbothered and peacefully. i wonder if i'd stayed at my parents and slept on the hammock like i'd intended if i would have slept better. later? would the dew of morning or the birds wake me instead?

i think it is finally time to take him camping.

stay hydrated, kids.



.what came before. - .what happened next.

brain candy - 1august 2o22
games - 26 july 2o22
climate change campouts - 23 july 2o22
insomnia - 22 july 2o22
try anything twice - 21 july 2022

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