It is hot here in the night. We have a swamp cooler on our house. It is a motor, pump and belts made cool by stagnant water. We run it all night long. It makes the house too cold, which we’ve decided is better than too hot. We like our blankets made of linens not sweat.
We don’t have air, which is probably why I’m so short of breath. It is too dry here not to use a swamp cooler, ugly and loud as it is. If I told you that it has rained more than 25 days total over the last five years I would be stretching it. It is hot here in the night, and it is dry.
My skin peels despite seldom seeing the sun. It sheds like a reptile as I try to keep hydrated and grow bloated on a constant stream of water, beer and coffee, and a diet that consists of little more than fruit and ice. I am so dry I cannot sleep. Instead I lie in the dark, short of breath and scratch what I have become under blankets of sweat-free linen. I cannot overcome the itch.
Lately the cooler blows with it the scent of smoke. There are fires somewhere close. Close enough for someone to be suffering and far enough away that I don’t give them any thought. The smell is so pungent I often wake, afraid that the fires inside me have finally broken the lines…
There are words that fall across my lips as I slowly fall asleep. Some of them should be remembered and some should be shared, and still others should never have been said, but they all fall- forgotten whispers destined to smolder in the heat of the night like leaves in the pyre. And my dreams are of the sea.