From the inside, it looked like any other summer day. The sun came through the foliage, dappling the street. The cracks in the pavement were almost unreadable, the contrast so great. He could see green in every direction as he passed under the canopy. Thinking about it, the thick, close air was like soup. The aromas of all the components like puzzle pieces unsorted, melding together in strange combinations. Floral bits of lilac and honeysuckle mixed with rotting pine and the wry stench of gypsy moths.

He took a breath. The air like water flooding his lungs. The heat made his head swell. It was all-encompassing, inescapable. The symphony of insects: cicadas, katydids and the like was a soundtrack to hell. How could someplace so beautiful be so miserable? But then the chill washed over him. The relief, like a sigh, better than a cool drink of water. Air conditioning. Perhaps man’s greatest feat over nature. He could feel the sweaty salt crystallizing on his skin. It crackled as he touched his forehead and it flaked off the soft, downy hair on his arms into tiny granules.

As he returned to the present moment, he realized that all that separated him from this cadre of memories and his current reality was a wall of glass. His reality, a cool 66 degrees. The memory, much warmer. He sat contemplating the difference. The Catalpas and Maples passing by around him. They looked the same as the species he used to know. Here the elements were a much subtler version of themselves. Had his eyes misled him, or just his other senses?

~ by namderf on May 24, 2011.