Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cool Comfort

Entry for June 8, 2007


My Lunch Break

I went out to the oval on my lunch break. I left the cool comfort of the Library and walked out into the summer heat. The heat made my skin goosebump, it was like a warm wet blanket. It felt good until my body warmed up, then it stung the back of my neck.

I walked past the columns and thought about the thunderstorm that is supposed to be above our city. It isn’t yet, but it made me race to the oval. The heat waved in strong breezes around me. Your hair would have been swirling with the heat, only stopping to be plucked out of your mouth.

I found the oval empty. A construction crew was tearing apart the Library. Just a week ago there had been a brass band of 200 people, soldiers dressed in white hats and gloves with shiny black shoes. I had seen the president of the university walking briskly through the bustle. Now it was silent, calm, waiting for the storm.

I sat on a bench over red bricks. I faced away from the oval, away from that emptiness. Every person that passed me I felt as if they had something to say to me. None said a word. I saw a girl twirling a black cane umbrella in the distance. A couple of old people met and smiled at each other before walking away together. I saw a squirrel yawn for the first time ever. It stretched its arms and yawned while walking down a tree trunk. It reminded me of a cat.

I focused on the ants at my feet. They scavenged the uneven bricks for food. I wondered if they had been there last week when the Christian group was handing out surveys about how to get saved. I don’t remember seeing the ants there when I had sat with the man who wore khaki pants and a blue shirt. I was looking at the ground then, too.

I remembered you told me to bring back the meat bag. I almost threw it away with the tangerine pit. My hands were sticky when I opened the yogurt. The ants avoided my tangerine juice that had dripped onto the red brick. When I dropped a bit of cheese they took it. A man walked up and then turned and ran away.

I walked back to the Library with a lighter bag. I saw a young boy with curly hair playing behind the columns. His brother rolled his eyes as I passed. I thought of ancient Greece. The sun stung the back of my neck as I entered the Library rotunda. I straightened my shirt, wiped off my mouth and smiled as the cool air grabbed me back.

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