Slide out of bed, frustrated and overheated and look out the window. Notice an unfamiliar ball of fire in the sky. Let confusion overwhelm you as you realise global warming was not just a myth to scare you from throwing gum on the street. Strip out of the furry pyjamas that were your comfy, cosy friend last night but this morning are quietly trying to smother you. Lie on top of your bed, check Facebook, receive 44 updates that it’s 12 degrees outside. Attempt to unstick yourself from the bed sheets. Wonder why your safe haven of a bedroom has turned against you and is trying to kick you out or make you die trying. Release yourself from this hovel that you have barricaded yourself in since finishing your exams.
Step #2: Find appropriate clothing.
Remember that your shorts are still in the attic from the last heatwave, about 4 years ago. Cry. Realise jeans will have to do. Roll them up as far as possible. They refuse to go past your calves. Cry again. Dig through your wardrobe until you find something that the people across the sea call a ‘T-Shirt’, but you always thought was a half-sewn jumper.
Step #3: Ravage through drawers for sunscreen.
Burrowed at the back of that ‘everything’ press in the kitchen you salvage a bottle of SPF 50 – ideal for children. Perfect. You don’t want to make the mistake of tempting second degree burns like last time. Apply everywhere – head, shoulders, knees and toes. And ears. Read the back of the bottle and notice the STAY OUT OF SUN BETWEEN 11 AND 3 warning.
Step #4: Agree with bottle.
Lock yourself indoors. Fail. After barricading yourself under a roof, in between four walls, and out of sight of the windows for a torturous five minutes, you break. It’s 12 PM and you know the sunscreen bottle would be disappointed, but it’s simply impossible to survive in this clammy dungeon any longer.
Step #5: Go outside.
Locate the perfect spot to flake out. Avoid venturing too far from the house in order to ensure that the WiFi connection is strong in the place you decide to dwell. Recruit a chair to lounge on, kick back, relax, go on Facebook. Realise you can’t see your phone screen. Squint really hard and worry that you’re losing your eyesight at a young age. Wonder if it runs in the family. Panic, and ready yourself to accept your fate.
Step #6: Determine that you may simply need sunglasses.
Return inside, attain glasses, return outside, sit on a chair, grab phone again. Facebook: Take Two. Relish in the fact that you can now somewhat see your screen and you’re not going blind. Woohoo. Receive 44 more notifications: it is now 16 degrees. Slowly become aware that Ireland is obviously moving closer to the equator at a rapid pace and come to terms with the fact that you now live on a tropical island.
Step #7: Pump up the music.
Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Holiday’ is without a doubt the only appropriate choice. Sign your family up for a Spotify Premium account. Put it on loop.
Step #8: Nap.
The heat is a lovely warm blanket. The ball of fire in the sky might actually be your friend. Consider topping up on sunscreen, but save yourself the hassle of moving by closing your eyes and drifting into a deep, well-deserved sleep.
Step #9: Wake in a pool of your own sweat. Again.
See your lovely shiny phone beckoning you to pick it up, still serenading you with Dizzee’s swagger jagger. Pick up phone. Touching phone is like touching a hot stove. Throw phone across garden because phone betrayed you. Panic. Slither through the grass like a sweltering worm, searching for beloved phone. Locate phone. Apologise to phone. Promise to always keep phone safe and never hurt her again. Bring phone inside.
Step #10: Appreciate tan.
Look down at arms. Notice how surprisingly golden they look. How can this be? You never tan. Perhaps 50 SPF sunscreen for children is the secret formula for shimmering skin that the models never tell you about. Drink 10 litres of water to rehydrate your parched body and wait for somebody, anybody, to come along so you can gloat about your glorious sheen. Somebody arrives. You gloat. They look closer and seem to disbelieve you. You become frustrated, insisting that the sun has tanned you. They pull the sunglasses from your face. You check your arms again. Unbelievable. You might actually be paler than before. Whatever. You didn’t want a tan anyway. Throw sunglasses across the room.
Try to locate sun. Can only locate rain. Buckets of it. Sigh. Dig out furry pajamas.