As a kid I used to visit my grandparents in the summertimes at their home in Hanford, where typical summer day temperatures reach well past 100 degrees. They had a swimming pool I spent countless hours in, never with a lick of sunblock on as these were the days before we slathered our children in sunblock before they were allowed exposure to the sun. These are also the days before I started sunburning, and instead I turned a deep brown each summer.
The water felt delicious on those hot, hot days, but after a while I'd get the shivers and climb out. I'd grab one of my grandparents' brightly colored oversized beach towels, lay my body directly on the hot concrete where you could almost hear your skin sizzle, and I'd drape the towel over myself. There I would lie, heating up like a cat in the sun, for what seemed like a long time. I'd breathe in the scent of chlorine and laundry detergent and hot cement as my hair dried into chlorine-encrusted twists and the sun shined through the tiny holes in the bright towel, creating a dreamy glow. I'd doze under my blazing, makeshift tent and after a while my grandmother would come padding out with a bowl of Cheez-Its and Diet Pepsi poured into a glass over ice. The corner of my tent would lift and the snack would slide into my little sauna. I wouldn't realize until then how hungry and thirsty I was. I'd polish it off, make a fast run into the air conditioned house to empty my bladder, and then run back out to splash in the pool again before the day's shadows took over and baking on the sidewalk would have to come to an end.