I hate summers. This summer has brought it home to me: I hate summers. I hate the excessive amounts of light, I hate the noise, the crush of people, the bugs (oi, the fecking mosquitoes! and the flies! and the small black nameless biting things!), I hate the twittering of birds and the slickness of the outside of a cold drink leaving a ring on your table; and most of all I hate the temperature.
If only it could be cold, dark, rainy and stormy all the time, but no! Mother Nature, that feminine dog, conspires for my discomfort all the time!
The nighttime temperature here in Finland is over 20 degrees Celsius (68 F) right now. The daytime temp is pushing thirty (86 F). That’s abnormal, unnatural and likely to soon have me running around screaming and blubbering like Homer Simpson, if you ask me. I feel like I’m surrounded by a pack of invisible, intangible, puffing, drooling, sweat-tongued lick-happy dogs all the time. I feel like my hair’s turned to a dead weasel wet by a bladder malfunction every twenty minutes or so. It’s so hot it’s a sweaty, uncomfortable chore even to visit the toilet, the small cubicle that it is, to say nothing of trying to sleep when sweat makes you feel your mattress is a leaky waterbed. Even when I open a window it’s the same wall of too warm air meeting me; and outside it’s just as bad except with bugs.
The only solace is in fans, in cold drinks that are 80% ice, and in sauna. Because though a sauna is much hotter than this unbearable weather, it is so in accordance to all the traditions of the Finnish psyche. A sauna is supposed to be sweaty; weather on the other hand is supposed to be cold in the summer, and super cold the rest of the time.
It’s so warm I almost wish I had an excess freezer I could live in.
That might end bad, mind you. In so many different ways.
* * *
“It’s a weird case and that’s no puzzler”, the junior constable said. “No sign of invasion, of theft. Just the freezer drug to the middle o’ the room, and the man himself inside it, frozen to death. Must have been a right bastard that locked him in, eh, boss?”
“Indeed.” The older constable had seen many a thing in his twenty years at the Littletown, Finland, police force, but someone frozen to death during the week of the temperature record seemed outright perverse.
He just hoped it wasn’t a budding serial killer of some description. The Ice Box Man, he could already see the headlines screaming.
* * *
“Look, this has nothing weird in it.”
So I said, with as much conviction as I could, but the doctor still seemed alarmed; and watching sweat droplets jiggle on a nervous man’s forehead wasn’t my idea of fun. Nor was explaining how my injuries had come to be.
“Excuse me”, he said, “but frostbite? In weather like this? Surely that is somewhat weird, wouldn’t you agree?”
“What of it?” I sniffed.
“Well, it’s the week of the temperature record! A bare degree away from the all-time record!” The droplets, running down now, made him look like he was crying. “No amount of holding a drink on the rocks will give your hand a frostburn like that!”
I cursed inward once again. How was I supposed to know it wasn’t safe to sleep inside a freezer? It had been so nicely cold and all. I had even had the forethought to leave the door ajar, to keep myself from getting locked inside; but who ever thought you could get frostbite in a freezer?
“Tell you”, the doctor wheezed, “you tell me where it is so gloriously cold, which particular backwoods spot, and I’ll write you two weeks of sick leave. Does that sound right?”
* * *
“I — you — what?”
“Em, sorry. This may seem like something weird, but —“
“What’re you doing in my freezer? And where are my berries?”
“It was too hot on the outside. Your berries are in my freezer.”
“Why, why aren’t you in there then?”
“It was too small. I recalled you had this megalodon of a coldbox, so I did some arranging, and so here I am.”
“In my freezer. With a book and a… cold drink?”
“Well, it is summer, isn’t it? Oh, and that child of yours — if you see her around, say sorry. She ran away before I could say the ice cream isn’t here anymore.”