Well, barely. Talking was harder than breathing. And breathing was impossible.
We hunched over, heads bowed, reduced to violent, concussive coughs, trying yet failing to mine some refreshment from this steaming soup. One hundred yards from Tampa Bay and I’m somehow drowning on dry land.
Summertime Florida’s daily visitor was nothing but a frustrating tease, a sick joke. It threatened an appearance, a hope-inspiring glimpse of its slip, so we coveted the darkening clouds, the heat index ramping to three digits.
But no shower today, not a chance, not for us. The cloud cover barely softened the debilitating heat. We knew the truth: We had bowed down to false gods who blared punk rock, and this was our penance. Painful enough in the afternoon, it now was early evening, and the Vinoy Park heat had conquered me.
I spat again.
The hulking Alex Nodderal, at 6 feet 2 a brick wall, got his voice back first – one benefit of being 22 years old. He pulled his West Coast Choppers T-shirt away from his thick chest, analyzed it and, smiling at me, said:
“That blood can’t all be mine.” (more…)