Preview of All The Single Ladies
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
Meet Lisa St. Clair
I hail from a very theatrical climate. Coming to terms with Mother Nature is essential when you call the Lowcountry of South Carolina home. At the precise moment I ventured outside early this morning, my sunglasses fogged. In the next breath I swatted a mosquito on the back of my neck. The world was still. The birds were quiet. It was already too hot to chirp. And, Lord save us, the heat was just beginning to rise. I thought the blazes of hell itself could not be this inhospitable.
But that was exactly how a typical summer day would be expected to unfold. The temperature would climb steadily from the midseventies at sunrise to the edges of ninety degrees by noon. All through the day thermometers across the land would inch toward their worst. Around three or four in the afternoon the skies would grow black and horrible. After several terrifying booms and earsplitting cracks of thunder and lightning, lights would flicker, computers reboot, and the heavy clouds burst as rain fell jungle stylefast and furious. Natives and tourists declared it "bourbon weather" and tucked themselves into the closest bar to knock back a jigger or two. Then suddenly, without warning, the deluge stops. The sun slowly reemerges and all is right with the world. The good news? The stupefying heat of the day is broken and the sun begins its lazy descent. The entire population of the Lowcountry, man and beast, breathes a collective sigh of relief. Even though every sign had pointed to impending catastrophe, the world, in fact, did not come to an end.
After five o'clock, in downtown Charleston, gentlemen in seersucker, linen, or madras, wafting a faint trail of Royall Bay Rhum, would announce to freshly powdered ladies in optimistic chintz that it appeared the sun had once again traveled over the yardarm. Could he tempt her with an iced adult libation? She would smile and say, That would be lovely. Shall we imbibe on the piazza? I have some delicious cheese straws! Or deviled eggs, or pickled shrimp, or a creamy spread enhanced with minced herbs from their garden. Ceiling fans would stir and move the warm evening air while they recounted their leisurely days in sweet words designed to charm.