My apartment is an equatorial swamp.
Inside, I lose my sense of time, watching Netflix and reading fiction like I have the flu. Ayla sprawls in the corner, torpid and immobile; every once in a while I glance over to make sure she’s still breathing. The blue ice I press against my neck, the fan, the copious water I drink, bring negligible relief.
My lassitude is self-perpetuating, and I’m feeling like an invalid. But to return my library books, to go to the store for popsicles and watermelon, to walk Ayla, to leave the stifling box that is my home, is too great an effort.
So I slump awkwardly on the couch, neck twisted painfully, nauseous from thirst, though my belly is quivering with water.
At least it’s summer 😀
For a moment I forgot what year it is, and started to write “12” instead of “14” in my journal.
Sitting at the coffee shop, the sun is glorious and the birds are going crazy. Noisy fans from the coffee roaster downstairs and the roar of passing cars don’t dampen the paradisiacal aspect of the scene, but throw it into relief. A smell of roasting coffee beans, of old cracking plastic waking up in the sun.
My unwashed hair stands out stiff and goofy-looking from my forehead. I’m wearing leggings in public. I don’t care.
I imagine going to dinner with friends, sitting outside on the patio at Revel, drinking cold bubbly wine, eating spicy dumplings, and my heart soars.
Sometimes I anticipate meals with mingled excitement and dread. Excitement because, duh. Food is the best thing on earth, the greatest joy of my life, a transcendent pleasure that sings of timeless magic in the midst of temporal embodiment. Dread because each meal must come to an end. Because my gluttony often fills me with regret. Because part of me (the worst part) wants to have zero fat on my thighs.
But today, I feel only excitement. The sun is out. The air is warm. Ayla is sprawled peaceably under a bench. I like my job and don’t mind that I have to go. I’m really lucky.
When it’s grey outside and chilly and I imagine being spattered with wet cold drops, I don’t really want to walk Ayla. But then I do, and I see how bright everything looks in the rain. How saturated and vivid the colors are against the slate of the sky. Why our emerald city is called that: There are thousands upon thousands of shades of green, in grasses and firs and deciduous trees, ferns and vines and shrubs and flower stalks and jewel-like mosses.
Sun’s delight needs no explanation. It’s showy and brash, greeting everyone with a high five and a belly laugh. Its gold illuminates an unchallenging, obvious beauty. But the grey, the misty drizzle that so often engulfs this corner of the world, is full of secrets. There’s a hushed excitement on damp grey days, a feeling of incipient magic. The grey invites you to look closer, to sit with stillness and let nascent dreams bloom into fullness.
Soon the kiss of the mist isn’t unwelcome, and the rain feels nourishing. Living things sparkle under its tender touch, streets are sloughed of grime. Birds chirp and dogs leap, knowing what’s good for them.