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Snapshots of Life in the City

Hot Town, Summer in the City*

The height of summer is the worst time to be in the city. Everyone looks bedraggled and unhappy except maybe for the tourists. The sidewalks seem to sizzle and pop with the heat. And pedestrians duck under shade whenever they can and otherwise limit time in the direct sun.
I reach a point every summer where I feel like running down the street screaming -I'd rather be anywhere else!
The other day, the temps were well into the 90's and the humidity was raging but I had to run an errand. So outside I went. Over the short span of about 90 minutes, I experienced a series of inexplicably maddening scenes. Here were just a few:
A man arrogantly and openly smoking pot on a metro platform with smoke billowing out like a chimney, forcing many of us to choke and move;
Another man dragging leaking, large-sized garbage bags onto the train (yes, leaking, and with God-knows-what contents) so I had to rush to get onto a different car before the train pulled out of the station;
A metro worker, who I simply asked whether there was a phone nearby connecting us directly to the station master above. "Yes" or "no" would have been good answers, even "I don't know." And yet, she kept shaking her head saying over and over, "I pick up trash. That is what I do. I don't do anything else." 
And, in the closing moments of my errand, thinking it was all thankfully almost over, I'd be home very soon, a man yelled directly into my ear:
I was not obstructing his passage in any way, nor was anyone else, and I have no idea why mine was the ear that had to be screamed into.  (I swear he was so loud that my hearing was affected long after.)
So that was it – he hit my limit of tolerance for the day - and I yelled back:
Obviously, this was not my greatest moment. (Well, at least I used initials and not the words.)
When I got back to my air-conditioned place, errand done, I was satisfied that I survived and could kick back a bit. And hours later, totally rehydrated and settled, I went out onto my balcony – yes, outside! - and I looked down upon the world below.
These were just people trying to get through the day – a hellishly hot one – but a day.  And I noticed that even the traffic seemed to move sluggishly, just like the people on the sidewalk.
Maybe if the day had been cooler I would have hardly noticed the crazy behaviors while I ran my errand. I just should have shown more restraint a few minutes longer, not respond to the guy who was yelling about his train. I didn't need to add to the pain of the muggy, searing hot day.
After all, I choose city life. I have to take the bad with the good.
*With acknowledgment to the Lovin' Spoonful song, "Summer in the City."

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