Life in 3 — The One About Being Unbearably Hot

J Dana Stahl
3 min readJul 17, 2022

When the temperature outside soars past 100 degrees, there are drastic changes in the personalities and behaviors of just about everyone around you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re at home or in public, people completely lose their shit when they can’t escape the heat.

I get it. I’m a frozen tundra kind of girl. I keep the air-conditioning set at 70 year-round, and even the best of AC units can’t keep up with the nonsense Mother Nature is currently throwing at us. Today in Mesa, the temps reached 112 — and people officially entered The Upside Down.

Image of sun and hot words on orange background for summertime post about heat

THREE I saw made me realize that when it’s sweltering outside, people generally fall into THREE different categories:

  1. The exhausted. A mom watched as her 5-ish-year-old made sweat angels and licked the floor of the food court in the mall. First, let me say I’ve been there. Kids are exhausting, and there’s something to be said for building those little immune systems by rubbing a little dirt on ’em. I’m no snowflake mom, but even I had to cringe as I watched little Carter lick away at what had to be weeks’ worth of layered food residue and footprints. But…it was hot, the mall was one of the ONLY cool places to go in the entire city, and hey, little does that momma know that her kiddo is probably gonna ingest way worse things in the years to come. Plus, I’m sure those greasy, food-caked tiles were pretty cool to roll around on.
  2. The nonchalant. A man crossed the street wearing cropped women’s pajama pants — inside out, because at this point, who cares? He completed his ensemble with a sleeveless tee he had turned into a halter by pulling the bottom hem through the neckline, allowing his luscious belly to shine through. In a ponytail and flip-flops, he waved at traffic and smiled. Hey, if it’s gonna be hot, you may as well get as comfortable as possible and make new friends along the way.
  3. The pissed off. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I asked my mom — who hates the heat — if she was going somewhere after she dropped me off after a day of shopping, and she turned on me like a vicious tiger and snapped, “I might be, ok! I just might be!” Then she turned around, wiped a gallon of sweat from her brow, and left — as if it were a perfectly normal thing to yell at someone after a fun girls’ day. I know, I know. She was hot and tired and sweaty. But so were we all.
Life in Three j. dana stahl creative writing about daily life

People are handling this heat in different ways, but one thing’s for sure. We’re all hot. Lots of us are miserable and hate it being this warm. Some of us are chaffing and have boob sweat for days, and no one likes a sweaty ass. Those of us who bought cars with leather seats and moved to the desert weren’t thinking ahead. Eggs are frying on the damned sidewalk. But we’re all in this together, so let’s try to be nice to each other, let’s lend a helping hand when possible, and for the love of the full moon, let’s chill the hell out…just a little bit.

J Dana Stahl

I’m a dreamer who believes there might just be a smidgeon of good left in this world. I believe in being nice, playing fair, and tacos...lots of tacos.