Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer the first

Tonight, I’m sleeping with the window open, because it’s been stifling hot all day, hot enough to remind me of my Texan days, where the heat could lull you into an exhausted doze in no time – except here we do not have the reprieve of air conditioning. When it’s hot, you can’t get away.
But we’ve complained about the cold for so long that we have long lost the right to whinge about heat until at least August.

The air now is a silky balm, pleasantly cool without being chilly, billowing mildly in the dusk, just that temperature where your skin can’t sense it anymore as a contrast to itself and you almost feel suspended because suddenly, the atmosphere seems gone and time stopped. The sky is a royal blue dome edged with turquoise where it blends into the silhouetted tree line, and speckled with the first pinprick stars. Orange street lights glow in the evening blue like grand still fireflies. It’s a night glorious enough to sleep out in the open.

Back in Cowtown, that’s just what we girls did. We dragged our old mattresses from our beds out onto the balcony of the decrepit house we shared on the edge of the village, a balcony large and deep enough to hold five mattresses lined up next to each other. In the midst of this harem-esque bedstead we sat, giggling like school girls, drinking pina colada mixer that went warm too quickly, and cheap wine, and told each other stories from the life before. And later, we slept, the country air as nourishing as soup, enough to make us full and saturated when we woke. Sometimes it was almost too much for me, being used to stale, thin indoors air, the night air would give me intense dreams which made me feel exhausted the next morning. Birds in the massive cherry tree next to our house would wake us at 5am, crying and screeching at the sunrise.

My life has always taken strange turns, and my timing always seemed off. I was three years late finishing high school, but played mother at 19, and in my mid-twenties I finally came as close to that girly sleepover I never had when I was a teenager. Maybe that is why I feel life so intense, overwhelming joy when good stuff happened, but crushing grief when things go wrong – my life never happened to me when and how I anticipated it, but all elements seem to show themselves at other, unexpected points in time, making things feel just “more”, because they are out of joint.
For someone who craves security as much as I do, and as much as it torments and confuses me at times, I almost enjoy that kind of unpredictability. As long as I know I can hope for something good.

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