BEST MONTH TO BE IN THE TWIN CITIES (1998)
Let's start with the heat. The 16-hour days. The horror-movie jingle of ice cream trucks in the long shadows of crepuscule. The stampede at Target for floor fans. The beads of sweat snaking down the swell of the bike messenger's calf. The exposed stripe of leg between the top of the knee-length sock and the bottom of the miniskirt. The exhibitionist rollerbladers circling their gerbil wheel, and the melanomic glow of their tans. Flesh! Flesh! Flesh! The skin of algae on the swimming lakes. The hide of algae at Hidden Beach and the mange on the unleashed dogs. Swimmer's itch. Mosquitoes and their mass extermination. The streak of headlights on I-35W, everyone headed due north. The standard-issue hipster wear: semi-opaque polyester prints, big big shorts, bowling shirts with the name "Chico" embroidered on the breast. Breasts. The coffee-shop thrill seekers, pretending to read Heidegger in the white glare of the sidewalk. The sidereal cutaway of the Milky Way. The klaxon aria of the air siren when the funnel clouds form and the barometer drops and the windows rattle. Funnel cake at the State Fair.