I lay as still as death on the marble floor. My skin seemed to melt, not like candle wax, but like burning hard sealing wax. Hair twisted around my neck and clung to my forehead. I couldn’t open my eyes.
Suddenly an icy cold shroud covered me. I sank into the floor even more. A relief to my burning Hell had come.
I could hear my brother Val laughing.
“Thank you,” I whispered. “I thought I was going to absolutely melt.”
Val lay down on the floor beside me and pulled the icy wet sheet over the both of us.
“I hate the heat,” I said to him.
“I know you do,” he replied.
We lay in the dark, on the cold marble floor. The triple digit summer air encased us, drying out the wet sheet. I hooked my index finger with his as we lay as still as death together, trying to find some comfort.
With my eyes still closed I could hear footsteps coming into the room. I couldn’t will myself to move. I was so hot and so uncomfortable.
I’m not a creature who has a wide range of temperature control. The heat makes me want to hibernate or go into a coma.
I could feel someone life the sheet from our still faces.
A gasp and a cry filled the air, then the sound of running away from us.
Val threw back the sheet and propped himself up on his arm. Looking towards the doorway he laughed. “She thought we were dead.”
“And so we are, well sort of,” I answered looking at his pale white chest and face, made even paler by the dark hair falling over his forehead.
When the others arrived we were up and sipping cool glasses of water. We were under a cool sheet. How amusing.
Later that night, a man, my then lover, came to my room. The thought of him touching me in the hot air made me ill. Taking his hand I led him to the garden pond and led him in with me. He said it was cold. Wrapping my arms around him I put my teeth in his neck and made him forget his discomfort of any heat or cold or fear. I then thought if only he did have ice water in his veins. Oh wouldn’t that have been grand.
Today, about ninety summers later the heat still shuts me down. My daughter mentioned that today.
“Dad said you never did well in the heat.”
“No. I don’t.” And that is true as I sit here burning up with my hands sticking to the computer keyboard.
Every single summer the heat rises to triple digits F-ing Farenheit. And every single summer the hot walls of heat hit me so hard that every cell in my body wants to shut down. It should be no surprise, especially since I choose to live here. Then again, it is hot everywhere in the West, aside from the coast and the mountains. Maybe one day I’ll pack up and move, but until then, there are wet sheets and ice.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman