The scorching hot city summer has arrived. Everyone has plugged in the air conditioners. The unforgiving drone is constant and relentless, sprinkled with sounds like hail or a small something typing away on a typewriter deep inside the machine. Ice-cold drops of water fall onto city sidewalks, creating an incessant not-quite-puddle, rather, a darker shade of industrial cement, or asphalt, or for the wealthier patrons, brick.

Windows are open and the large square fans have been propped in their place. Old t-shirts, blankets, winter scarves, and strange squares of foam that belonged to no one and had no purpose, now serve as insulation, stuffed in the empty spaces.

One might hear more than is usually heard, walking down the street in the summer time. These old buildings don’t have central air, and there is a thinner layer between us now as I or they walk down the street.  Because of the heat, we are closer than we normally would be. We can hear more than we normally would. Everything is louder in the summer. Babies crying, phones ringing, children laughing, a million televisions on a million different channels, microwave timers going off and the tension of the last words heard, disappearing behind me as my feet carry me past the next house, “No-one use the stove…it’s too hot. We’ll have cereal for dinner.”