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Notes From the Small Pond: When it was hot a few weeks ago…

The heat, like weight and wet wool and old, mite-infested feathers, feels like something animate. An allergy. Heavy. Thick. The fan blows hot air. You sleep to the sound of it. Better than nothing, but still sweaty. You dream of compression. You absently smile in your sleep, thinking of your neighbors with their A/C. Not your thing. People are different than other people.

Your chest pumps and oxygen, does its job recognizing your efforts and you keep breathing, somehow. Salt water breaks off your scalp at your hairline and drips, down your nose, between your chests, down the small of your back, soaking your mattress. You smell yourself. Not entirely unpleasant, but humiliating.  

“Am I dreaming?” you ask somebody. Anybody. But you hope it’s Somebody, but you can’t be sure, since Somebody sweats specifically, and anybody is just that.

“No, you’re not dreaming,” Everybody says, quietly, but just as awake as you are, so it’s suddenly not lonely and your heart leaps at the idea of sharing the sweaty night.

“Are you cooking?”

“Like stew. I’d rather bake than boil.”

“Should we go somewhere dry then? Arizona, then?”

“…No way.”

“No way. Then we’ll sweat, Amazon style.”

“I guess so.”

“Is that fan on?”

“Yes. Blowing hot air.”

“Familiar.”

“Right.”

“Hot air better than cold wind?”

“I guess.”

“I’m glad to sweat with you, honey.”

“Me too, if I have to.”

“Me too, if I have to.”

“OK…”

“….Damn it’s hot in here. Reminds me of my childhood. Sleeping in the backyard tent. Sneaking into Pinehurst Pool after midnight. I carried you home with your cut foot.”

“I remember.”

“The heat was different.”

“You sound old saying that.”

“I am old saying that.”

“Don’t say that.”

“What part?”

“…G’night.”

“G’night.”

“…”

“…”

“Too hot.”

“No such thing.”

“…”

“Turn the fan on higher.”

“YOU turn the fan on higher.”

“So sweaty.”

“Pinehurst Pool. We should go. Climb over. Dive in.”

“Let’s.”

“Grab some shoes — don’t want to cut your foot like 35 years ago.”

“Can’t believe we’re this old!”

“Can’t believe we’re this young.”

“Optimist.”

“Is that the same as Liar?”

“Probably.”

“Shhhh…”

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