Under Certain Conditions
Bev Vines-Haines
I can explain. Not that many care to listen. In my soul, my inner being, my wisest self, I am good. I am neat, clean and fair. I give to panhandlers, even the ones who admit they are going to buy booze. I take used clothing to the Salvation Army and recycle my children's toys to homeless shelters and hospitals.

Thing is, excessive heat can consume all reason. Santa Fe can hit high 110s. A sun that can scorch gardens, reduce them to withered stalks, kill the unprotected and the un-air-conditioned, melt play sets and pool chairs can surely fog a persons senses.  

Take the community pool at the park near my home. You get a bunch of women in bikinis, coeds in micro bikinis and men in Speedos, you are asking for trouble. Hard bodies move in hard and fast. People open up, as it were, to strangers. Coolers carry stronger drink than sodas for the children and no one seems to check or care. So you end up with nearly naked drunks whose brains are heat addled.

I did not know the man was the mayor. I am thinking he forgot as well. And everyone seemed to forget we'd left children in the care of life guards. You know how it goes. I know you do. Innocent joking becomes innocent poking. Home stories best left private come rolling off your tongue. Chairs move closer. Towels cover rising passions if you get my drift. A whispered word pours soft sweet breath over faces and ears. It is the heat. I know you will agree. Maybe the heat and the margaritas. A hurried rush to the changing rooms. Don't tell me you never did this.

Bad freaking luck the newspapers were there to do a story on city parks. Worse freaking luck the mayor's wife came to get into the photos. Heat passion is not scandal! It's explanation and reason! Not my fault she's doing one of those "Stand by your man" microphones interviews on the evening news. Not my fault the mayor says I came onto him and he is merely a victim of feminine wiles. (Side note: Sorry, Monica Lewinsky)

I am rethinking all those times I blamed the "other woman." Whose to say, right? Can't we all just take a chill pill? Heat is a crazy thing. Human nature is predictable in certain situations. We'll all be okay once winter sets in. I swear we will.

I also think my husband will come back to me. Someday.

First published: August, 2014
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