{write or die} heat wave

It is deep night. The hair sticks to the back of my neck. The fan stands in the corner, whirring and sputtering. It complains of the heat as much as I do. I cannot sleep. A black curtain of summer drapes itself over my shoulders and the rest of the room, daring me to move. A single bead of sweat trickles its way down my spine to sit in the pool at my tailbone. The street outside is empty. Not even the strays are out patrolling. It is disappointing to be alone tonight. The moon has risen, half full and deadly orange. The sun, on its lumbering journey to the other side of the world, won’t even let the moon be silver tonight. Fire red and orange waits to blast the morning sky. I hate heat waves. I would take a snow storm over a heat wave any day but if you asked me mid-stride I would tell you the opposite. I am contrary that way. It does not one lick of good to be naked in the dark even. My skin prickles each time the wind of the fan passes over me. Please, my skin begs, stay and cool us. Then the fan is gone. The heat wafts in and settles. Whimpering its companion.

This is not what I meant to write. I wrote earlier. Not properly just wrote what was on my mind. I don’t like writing that way. Restrained, unable to write freely. I do that to myself. Take the small screen. Take the smaller screen. Write. Pour thought into the abyss and pray that in some way the babble makes sense. it occurs to me now – how do you make sense of babble? Is it like making sense of a brook running through the woods, babbling, as it were? We just let the brook do its brooky thing and babble away. What of the sleep deprived? Do we let them sit in the dark, while the mercury pushes 37C at 1am and wonder if it is best to just let them sit, get out whatever it is that is stuck in the eyelids, prying them open…. wait, why am I writing this? What is the point? I have derailed myself. Spilled water from the bottle at my feet. It really is only water. I could call on someone to turn it into wine. No.. actually I can’t. not any more. Jesus is off doing other things.

I don’t like the sound of the whirr. Or the pounding in my head. I should sleep. Lay my feet across the pillow and stick my head off the end of the bed to watch the stars and moon move slowly together. Watch the streetlights from above, and the orange circles they throw up across the asphalt. Avoid all together the true reason I am sleepless tonight. Oh hush you red tormentor. Let me think a moment while I am sitting here. My forehead is slick against the back of my hand. Hair sticks everywhere. I won’t cut it though. It is not time. Push it away, like every other thought. Sit, you silly cow, and just listen. Not to the fan, or the hum of the other fans upstairs or in windows. Listen to the beat. Not the throbbing unrelenting head gripped by an invisible vice. Feel. You are allowed to. Feel.

The timer, I just noticed, is counting down. I am almost done. No elation. Being done means moving, and climbing and falling, and thinking while staring unseeing at the ceiling. The glow in the dark stars are faded now and it is too late to turn lights on and recharge them. The same summer sky stares down at me above the roof. I should not settle for the recreated one I made thirteen years ago. I wish I could lay out tonight. Lie down in the garden and watch the sky. It would not help me to sleep, but would be beautiful all the same. The light, like a breath through the cosmos, tricks my eyes into believing it is moving. Twinkling and winking at nothing. Sometimes, I am too cautious. Now I am more so. Waiting to see the stars dancing. Sitting alone in the dark, fans whirring. What lies waiting in the shadows now? I wonder. For a few more seconds any way. Is it time yet to end this? I wonder about that too.

Published by Leigh-Anne Fraser

writer, poet, photographer, artist, illustrator, knitter,friend and fine pancake flipper

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