In the Heat of the Day

 

The sun rises in the Eastern window, cascading burnt orange and violet streaks across the mountain ranges as the water for coffee boils. The breeze that glides through is welcomed, as awareness of how the heat will envelop everything within the hour is understood by all. The temperature rises slowly at first and then skyrockets quickly; the familiar dread fills the body like muscle memory. As the hours creep by, the air becomes stifling and the people move slower, conserving every ounce of energy and knowing internally, automatically, genetically, what they must do. The same thing that their ancestors did, finding refuge from the oppressive desert sun under the scarce trees and homemade porch shade, stuck together with any spare, forgotten about parts and pieces. Light fills the room.

 

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The cat yawns, arching her back and stretching her paws forward, sauntering to find a cooler spot closer to the Earth, closer to the equator. As the day wears on, the sweat pours out – the body becomes more and more sluggish. Intentions that had been previously made melt away from consciousness; a distant thought that seems laughable now. The concerns that seep into the mind consist of maintaining homeostasis, a task that grows increasingly difficult with time, until the heat builds and builds and finally bubbles over in a froth of choking air, leaving its victims gasping for oxygen and sanity.

 

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And just as furiously as it came, it begins to trickle backwards, retreating into the recesses of the hilltops, slinking away amidst the desert terrain. Breath begins to flow into lungs again, renewing and energizing a body that seceded long ago. The blanket of suffocation is lifted as a breeze trickles into the open window and the sun sets in the Western window, spilling pink and vibrant blues across the field of vision. The heat is gone for the day, sure to rise the next; but for now, rest.

 

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