Miami

Miami in August is hot, oppressive, sultry. In the brilliant sunlight, the buildings are sun-bleached, white or pink, while for the most part the people are bronzed. We walk, and the heat permeates every corner of my being. I find myself walking more fluidly, all the northern stiffness stripped away. I have the strange sensation of having been melted to liquid inside, as if I need to move more slowly just to keep from spilling.

My body feels strange, alive, awake.

Up at the room, we try the jacuzzi tub. It has jets that make the water froth, so we use shampoo as a make-shift bubble bath. He pours red wine and joins me in the tub. The water is warm, the soapiness of the water makes our skin slick.


The setting of the sun brings relief from the blinding brightness. The heat is less oppressive, but the air is warm and still and close… it is like being held in the arms of the night itself. The moon is full and bright, hanging low over a sea that sparkles under its light like a sapphire. It is stunning, beautiful, unreal.

The boardwalk is hushed, as couples walk along hand in hand. We walk in silence, together but apart, without touching. He could take my hand, but he will not; never has. He will allow me to take his hand, but will not initiate. The choice has to be mine.

I watch the bright moon and the calm sea. I am three thousand miles away.

The distance between us is a chasm. I do not close it. I do not take his hand.


I wake up restless, still far away, feeling unsettled and out of place. I try to lie still, but he awakens long enough to pull me close and ask me, “Why are you sad?” I tell him I’m not. But I don’t know what I feel, other than out-of-sorts.

I am restless and hungry for solitude. He falls back to sleep; the balcony beckons. Instinctively I put on a robe before going out, and although it is lightweight, only a moment outside makes me realize this is wasted effort. Even so early, the heat is an assault on the senses. I comfort myself with the thought that, even in my nightgown of burgundy silk, people will wear far less on the streets below me. I give up the robe, and let the heat have me.

Each morning thereafter, I slip straight from the bed to the balcony, and start the day alone with my books and my distant thoughts.


Eventually he awakens, and we go out for breakfast. I realize that the reason they have invented a diet in South Beach is that it is simply too hot here to eat. We go for a walk, then return to the hotel we have begun to call “The Palace”, and spend the afternoon at the pool. I read, take a phone interview. We drink frozen fruit drinks and relax.

In the bright sunshine, we walk northward along the shore. It seems as if we will walk forever, maybe all the way up the coast, maybe all the way home. Abruptly, however, the pathway cuts off.

When I note this ending with surprise, he tells me simply, “Everything ends.”
I wonder if he realizes that he sounds like bad dialogue in a novel.
I wonder if he knows that he’s being prophetic.

 

Copyright © 2006

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~ by lorakceel on April 3, 2010.

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