Now Is When

Now Is When

Sticky, the air congeals around them creating human bubble molds out of salted sweat. Despite the rushing wind of the oscillating fan, the thickness of the heat cements them to the warm floor. Even under the shade of night, the room refuses to cool; relief eludes. The only room in the entire boarding house with AC only makes matters worse, for eventually, they must exit the room-not-theirs and return to the swampy misery of their own AC-less room. Also, the house mother charges extra for AC use. And so, they lie, spread eagle, in only a bra and panties, as far from each other as humanly possible in the ten-by-ten space, window open wide, unscreened, and the door ajar. Every once in awhile, a slightly cool breeze flies up from the stairwell, into the room and out the window. A mosquito buzzes. They both twitch and wince in fright. The only thing worse than being miserably hot is being swollen and itchy from mosquito bites while miserably hot.

One suggests a cold shower. The other suggests some ice cream. They both decide that either requires movement from their current positions. Gently, the sweat forms, beads, then cools temporarily when the fan forces air across and over the body. One lets out a pleasant sigh as the fan provides a job well done. The other wonders if death will become them in these temperatures. There is no way of knowing. Both of their phones charge in the kitchen/dining area of the house—the only space with accessible outlets—hence, the open window through which the fan’s plug connects to an extension cord that presumably leads to an outlet somewhere out on the semi-enclosed patio.

One sighs out of sheer boredom. The other comments on the room being too hot even for sex, to which the one responds that that is not possible. The two rustle slightly to shift their bodies to a slightly drier portion of the sheet upon which they spread themselves. One rolls over and wonders if the other wants to fool around or something, just to keep their minds off the misery. The other rolls over and informs that she is heterosexual. The one rolls back onto her back and states that that sucks. The other wonders why or how she does not know that the one is homosexual or bisexual. The one responds by wondering why she would need to know. They both contemplate this for a moment. Then the other comments that she knows now, and the one nods and states that now is really the only time anyone would ever have or need to know. The other agrees. The two return to the silent misery of being too hot to sleep but too hot to do much else.