Do you know what happens in late July in Georgia when the air conditioner goes kaput and you don't have the money for a new one? A lot of sweat on the forehead ala The Long Hot Summer and A Time to Kill. Both sweaty Southern stories. Disgruntled feelings also get carelessly thrown about toward the others closest at hand. The heat most surely can (and does and will) drive a girl mad and make her feel even more closed in (trapped!) than she already did.
The dogs are huffing and panting in front of the fans, and suddenly shopping malls and museums seem so much more appealing.
P.S. Crisis has been temporarily averted. A friend of the family brought over a window unit, and the afternoon rains have brought about some relief. My tempest-brewing-brain has settled for now.