The sun, having heard, perhaps, that Minneapolis has cast furtive glances at its Tupperware-ed stockpile of cozy sweaters and corduroy pants, has cooled in her affection for us. The temperature drops daily, and the citizens of Our Great City rub their hands together, exhale hotly onto their exposed fingertips.
Summer! Oh, summer. I only sunburnt once this year – just a little bit! – and I never did get a tan.
There is nothing I can do about it now.
The seasons change, and we head to the cookbooks. Indian, Thai, Mexican, anything where the tongue can be fooled into thinking that it may have struck out on its own, perhaps flown off to somewhere warm, somewhere where dark-eyed men with enterprising moustaches offer bowls of fragrant happiness…
Three jalapenos, the recipe said. Cored and chopped, seeds are optional.
Optional?!! Say no more, my good man. Any time a recipe suggests “optional” to me, I suggest that it does not know who it is dealing with. Optional? The word tastes bad, and I’ll have none of it.
I chopped three jalapenos. Cored and chopped them. Kept their little seeds.
Optional. Why I oughta…
Of course, it is not long after that, whilst brushing my hair from my face, that I notice my cheek is burning.
And my left ear. And the right side of my chin. And the center of my chest. And a portion of my forehead.
And it occurs to me, something that I read ever-so-long ago, something about wearing rubber gloves when dealing with jalapenos…
But! But! These were grown in Minnesota! Surely a little home-grown vegetable wouldn’t burn like one grown in, say, Texas?
For a bright woman, I am surprising stupid at times.
I go into the bathroom, look in the mirror at the red splotches on my face.
They will burn for hours.
I made salsa to remind me of summer.
And just like that, summer is back.