27 July 2007

the charm of a humid summer night.

tonight is the kind of night that drew me back into the midwest.
it's about 80 degrees with a whole lot of humidity and a whole lot of crickets chirping. mmm humidity. you walk outside and it feels as though a blanket (a damp one at that) has been wrapped around you. the smell of wet grass and flowers is rampant and your hair can never be quite right.
this is the kind of night that makes me wish I still smoked.
when i was in high school I used to sneak out to our front porch or into our backyard late on these humid nights and smoke. I'd smoke and imagine my life after i moved out of my mother's house. I imagined a life with great music in the background at all times and spontaneous dancing in the livingroom. I imagined a life with boys who were nice and cool and always lit my cigarette for me. i imagined a happy dahli who was always busy but still had time to read a great book and see a good film. This is my life as I know it.
It's my 5th summer here since moving back. Tonight I sit on our front porch in the wee hours of the morning digesting my most recent day and anticipating the one that is upon me. Today was busy. There was pretty good music in the background; sometimes everyone else could hear it, other times it was just me. I had a good phone conversation with a boy who is quite nice and very cool and would light my cigarette if I still smoked. He probably would have danced with me in our livingroom too if he were in town, but he's on the road.
Living in the pacific northwest helped me appreciate hot humid nights. I disliked needing a sweater after the sun went down in the summer months and I missed the smells that defined my summer. After my family, it was weather that brought me home to Minnesota post college graduation. Hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters were calling my name.
Six years later the novelty has not worn off. I still appreciate the heat and humidity same as I did the day my little subaru wagon brought me home to Minneapolis. When I tell people so they look at me sideways and call me crazy. But I'm not crazy, just nostalgic and maybe a little bit silly.
Now I kind of want a cigarette. I could sit here on our porch and smoke and imagine my life in ten more years.


  1. What a lovely post. I have so many unpleasant memories of the Midwest that I have lost sight of such elegiac moments. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. We were just in Indiana and we were sitting out on Aaron's Dad's patio and it was 80 degrees at 10pm and the crickets! My god, the crickets! It blew my little PNW mind how LOUD they were. I was all, "What's that noise?" and they were like, "What noise?"