J.K. Durick: Taking Temperatures

It’s 43 in Rutland, 33 in Boothbay, 37 in St. Louis, and it’s only 45 in
Sunnyvale; I begin my day this way, taking the world’s temperature,
in London it’s 48, I can picture them all bustling through their partly
cloudy day, dressed for the weather, in Rio, a slower more colorful place,
it’s 89, 64 in Hong Kong, the same in Cairo, only 46 and raining in Paris,
and a warmer more welcoming 82 in Mogadishu.  I remember sitting up
in bed as a child with a thermometer jammed under my tongue and my
mother waiting patiently for the results, and the way this would set up
my day, ill or well, off to school or home again, groggy on medicine and
too much television; even today I play the parental part for myself, feel
my forehead, shake out the digital thermometer, and patiently wait to
determine what to do. There are private and public wars going on all
around, there are headaches and whole economies collapsing, there are
fevers and injustice, there are reasons not to go to school and there are
colossal misunderstandings, there are reasons to get out of bed and go
out there, and  still there are reasons to turn over and continue sleeping;
it’s all a matter of reading the temperature right and then deciding.

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