We’re in the worst of it now, the time when it truly seems like HELL on Earth. Every time you walk out of the house or exit the car, it feels like you’re stepping into a BLAST FURNACE. The heat seems to suck the oxygen right out of your lungs. The temperatures are hovering around 114° … with outdoor signs barking out an unfathomable 118° … and, shockingly, there are people walking around out there. I saw a father and son near the Hance Park (downtown). With their matching shorts and t-shirts (and fully packed backpacks) they looked like they might be from Indiana or Ohio or somewhere in the pasty midwest. I wondered how long they had been marching the streets … and wondered how much further they had to go.
Earlier today, I started to wonder how I came to be a resident of HELL on Earth. More importantly, I started to wonder why I had stayed so long. Surely other people have these thoughts about where they live. Surely I am not unique in this sort of reverie … this locational puzzlement.
I have started a novel several times. (Thus far), it always has the same title: ACCIDENT OF BIRTH. Years ago, I drove trial exhibits across country simply for the opportunity to see America. As I drove through small town after small town, I would marvel at the lives these people led. How many of the residents were living here because they loved it? How many remained simply because they had nowhere else they wanted to be and, because of this accident of birth, stayed?
In my case, when I was getting ready to move, I called everyone I knew to ask about employment and cost of living. The answers from Phoenix were the best in the nation (at the time). So, I came. I stayed. And, annually, I melted.