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The warm weather is not unbearable here. At home, the ninety degree weather is the talk of all the social and profesisonal circles. It’s such a popular tag to conversations, that you realize where the satirical “talk about the weather” jokes came in. I hear customers, even late in their entrees, remark about the heat, glad to be in thecool, dark building. The humidity in Chicago pushes me to beg my boss to turn up the AC. Usually he says he will, but never does. It drives children that should be on swingsets in the backyard to the cool carpet in front of the television. It makes popcicles all drippy and hands far too sticky, even for the summer.

But the heat here makes me antsy inside. I want to be out in it, feeling the orange-red sun beating down on my face through closed eyes. I take my lunch breaks outside, I sit in the park and read a novel, or I hike the waterfall trail under raw Western sunlight. The other day, I read a book cover to cover in a combination of the grassy park across the street from my house and my patio backyard.  It wasn’t short, took me hours and many glasses of water where the ice melted before I was out of the house.

You can guess how my skin responded.  I put sunscreen on with maybe an hour of midday sun left a few chapters from the end.  It didn’t stop my shoulders from flushing pink and touching tender for the next three days.  Or my shins from flaking dry, sensitive skin and refusing to chafe under the long legs of my jeans.

My roomate went on a trip for a few days, meeting her Mom at the airport on the last day of her venture.  She left a post-it note on my sunscreen in response to my whining about my sunburnt skin and I laughed so hard, my cheeks weakened when I tried to smile later in the day.  The Colorado heat is dry and inviting, but it still burns.

Sunscreen Post-it Post-Burn