Saturday, August 22, 2009

slow and low


it is summer and the heat is upon the city. it has wrapped itself along the borders and flooded all the streets. the sun sits, still and menacing, behind thick grey clouds hanging low in the sky. we all wait for the rain, the murky air suspended between us, glancing up with frowns and our hands shielding our eyes. a desperate yearning for the sky to break, for an honest wet to wash away the unbearable anticipation inside us. inside our houses.

because of the charming architecture from which my apartment is designed, i have not yet installed my a/c unit. it is too large, too grand, to just fit anywhere. i have bay windows in the living room. one faces the fire escape, one has my desk in front of it, the other a metal guard rail protecting me from intruders. the window in my bedroom would suffice, but it is just far enough away to make cooling the entire apartment -- or at least the areas in it i spend most of my time -- a burden on my electric bill. also, it faces my head, and the idea of an air conditioner blowing its chemical tainted wind on my head all night makes my throat seize up and my nose runny.

so yesterday it was ninety one degrees in my house. i sat in front of my computer, watching the city outside and typing sporadically, while beads of sweat pooled upon my naked chest and ran down my neck and legs. ive given up on wearing shirts inside, the air wont allow it. i cant even lie on the couch and let the television think for me without laying down a towel first, so as i dont dampen my pillows and cushions. the cats are beside themselves. they find the coolest spot on the floor and collapse there lazily. they let their hair fall away, all over everything, so i have to vacuum at least once a week. they refuse to sleep with me in the bed. cuddling is out of the question. they just want to be scratched behind the ears.

i had a girl over recently. we went to a show then came back to my place for drinks. the air inside was hot and syrupy. she asked if i would ever put in my a/c and i shrugged. we stripped down to shorts and tank tops and laid on my couch trying not to touch one another, even though we wanted to. i was nervous about my sweat and wouldnt let her lay her head on my chest. when we finally intwined it was late and we were half sleep and the sounds that came from us were slow and low and even our breath seemed hot upon our skin. i thought of another girl the whole time and then another girl after. we drank cold beers and she fell asleep before hers was done so i finished it for her while smoking a cigarette. it was all dark save the glow from the television and the smoke curled up and hung before me.

now i sit in my house typing this because i dont write enough anymore. the words just arent in me. or maybe im afraid. i can feel sweat trickling down the side of my body and there is no wind and no prospect of wind. outside is bright and grey and it boils. we all hope for rain. we want the sky to break.

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Creative Commons License
:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.