Sleep-deprived and sweaty

August 3, 2006 at 3:47 am (Uncategorized)

At about 2 am last night I woke to complete silence and a bead of sweat running down my temple. At first I thought my four-year-old air conditioner had finally died. Then I looked up. Even in my sleepy, blinded haze I understood what a black cable box meant. No power. And so my evening’s rest was over. I stood in front of my corner house and looked down the block into thick stagnant slate-colored nothingness. In the swampy air, I shivered. I’ve been up alone in the middle of the night on plenty of occasions. Insomnia, high school all-nighters, and a fondness for partying into the wee hours have all brought me alone into the dark, but this was different. It wasn’t a quiet mountainside, or the park near my childhood home, and it wasn’t a deserted city street echoing the click of my stilettos. It was eerie. Unnatural. Downright spooky.

Around 3:45 I heard The Roommate heading for the bathroom.
“Need a flashlight?” I whispered.
“Wha…? Hmm…?
“Power’s out.”
“Seventh circle of hell.”

I kept turning the flashlight on and off as I lay there sweating. I got a glass of water, but was afraid to open the refrigerator more than once. I wondered how roommate could sleep in this. I tried to think of people who would be up. I made packing lists by the light of a fig-scented candle. I tightened and relaxed each muscle group, taking extra time with my feet. I thought of all the things I won’t get a chance to do in Boston before I leave. I thought of all the things I want to do right away when I get to California. I brushed my hair with my fingers, tried to remember my favorite poems and lyrics, named imaginary puppies, marked old choreography with my hands, envisioned waist-high snowbanks and bitter winter winds. I debated driving around in my car, just to feel cool for a moment. But mostly, I was just miserable. Baking in my own juices and trying to put the next day’s forecast out of my mind.
Temperature: 101
Dewpoint: 72
Heat index: 110

Exactly how is this supposed to make up for winter?


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