Written in an unguarded moment…

I suppose it’s the time of year. Here in the not-so-deep south, the heat wave continues and the televison news strives to remind us that, indeed, it is hot. The 5pm news begins with a pretty weather girl who reminds us that, well, yes, indeed, it’s hot. Then the roving reporter confirms, indeed, it is hot and people are forced to work in the heat. Then another roving reporter further confirms, lo and behold, it is hot, and animals don’t like it when it’s hot, especially the animals that fucking come from Africa but are now stuck in a animal showcase in the middle of nowhere America. And then the anchors tell us, heads up, it’s hot and you might want to consider conserving energy, because, who doesn’t want to turn off the AC when the heat index of 107 degrees? Oh, and then there’s some news to tell you about. It all reminds me of an old joke some TV pals and I shared. TV news consists of the following stories: It’s hot, it’s cold, college is expensive, and fatty foods will kill you.

Yeesh, that all sounds a little moody and bitter. I’d apologize for that, but I’m done apologizing for the day. I’ve already apologized to the dog for it being so hot outside. I’ve already apologized to humanity for not turning off my air conditioning. And I’ve already apologized to the kid for letting him wear a plaid, sleeveless jumper on Saturday. My bad. But, I’m done apologizing for the day. You want an apology? Get me when I wake up in the morning. My first apology will be for sleeping too late and for forgetting to shower.

Perhaps there is something overly romantic about the notions in my head. The long aimless walks I don’t take. The smoke-filled bars I don’t sit in and the conversations I don’t have with the bartenders that aren’t serving me. The back porch sunrises I don’t enjoy. The big gambles I don’t take.

Yet, this is not some lamentation. It’s just that the notions are there, in my head, clouding up the more rational thoughts upon which I rely. I’m not sure exactly how they got there and how they got in such a fight with each other, but they’re all there, hold and cold fronts colliding in an unstable cerebral atmosphere.

In the few minutes it has taken me to pound out this screed, we’ve covered the news of the day and “Up next, John will tell us about how hot it is.”

Weather sells, I was always told when I worked in TV. It didn’t matter so much what was happening in the community at large. If there was even the slightest hint that a guy two counties away might have his BBQ sprinkled on, by jove, we were going to lead the damned news with it. These days, the promos on TV feature the weather guy and his family sitting around on their back deck looking over a hurricane tracking map. You know, just in case a hurricane threatens to hit us 300 miles inland.

There’s a part of me that figures I should go back and erase every sentence of this open letter to the sun gods. Yet, I know there has to be a reason I logged on to write this in the first place and since a grand total of, like, 26 of you read this blog on a regular basis, I figure by the time anyone gets around to coming here, I’ll have written about some other inanity.

So, you know…fuck it.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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