wishing i was somewhere south

you'll note my photo has changed - it is a sign of my daydreams... outside is dreary, dismal, a dull grey, a muted sky that obscures the light and makes outside feel like a heavy sigh.

but elsewhere the sun beats down on sand, waves tumble ashore, skinny palm leave rustle in the heat of the breeze. the air smells like salt, like spices, like sweat. your skin is sticky, sweet - you bathe three times a day, short, cold bursts that invigorate your body in spite of the lazy hanging heat that makes you want to stop, to slow your breathing, your pace, to still your whole body's rhythm because you think that stillness may be cooler - but it isn't, the breeze won't cool you either, the breeze is hot in the day and on the roads it carries dust and reeks of gasoline. but i brought my rag, i keep it in my pocket for bus rides and the constant streaming heat, to wipe my brow, to cover my nose, to douse in water and lay loosely over my hot head.

it's cool in the sea. submerge your ears and listen to the airy hum of the ocean, swishing and bubbling and keeping you float. there's laughter on the beach, shouting, story telling, teeth sucking and wild gestures. but it is still in the water, still and cool and weightless. i want to bathe in the sea everyday. i want to bathe in the sea everyday at different times in the day; in the morning when the water is cool and calm and the beach is quiet. in the day when the sea grows warmer and we bring noise to the beach. and at sunset, when they day is done and beach goers are gone save a few pair of lovers wishing the day would never end and the sun wouldn't disappear under the horizon. but it does and the ocean returns to her original stillness and your body can cut through the salt water gliding in the brief twilight. don't stay too long, it will soon be dark this close to the equator, very soon.

inside the car is cool now but metal anywhere retains the day's heat, so be careful of the seat belt buckle. your salty skin sticks to the upholstery and reminds you that although you just bathed in the sea, you are still a salty, sweaty, sticky mess with sand embedded in your roots and under your nails and within every crevice of your skin - you need yet another icy shower. your body fights the cold at first, then adjusts while you make the appropriate grunts and sighs to diffuse the sharp feeling of frigid water. leave the towel behind, open the louvers and just lay down on the crisp sheets; the evening breeze enters with ease through the wooden shutters and it's a little cooler now. once you're up, put on something loose and I'll mix stiff drinks in a rock glasses (plenty of ice, dark rum, a squeeze of lime, a drop of bitters, a touch of coke) let the ice clatter as the hammock sways and we listen to crickets play. mind you drop asleep outside, mosquitoes are just now starting to buzz about ears and ankles... go inside, crawl under the netting hanging above the bed and sleep, tomorrow the sun will shine again, infuse the day with heat and beat down on our bare backs - a reminder - you are in the tropics, child, the tropics.

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