Hot. Steamy, wet hot. Walking through wet wool hot. Hair plastered to head and neck hot. Can’t breathe, can’t sleep hot. No matter how you turn your pillow no cool hot. Tossing and turning, getting up I lay at the foot of the bed, closest to the window waiting to catch a wimpy breeze. No screen, in no time a banquet has been called in my honor, after the ‘taster’ mosquito finds me juicy. Shut window hot.
Dozing I drift back and forth in time. To summers as a child, where my mom would sneak in, just as I’d fallen asleep, pulling the covers up to my chin, brushing the wet tendrils off my face. And place a kiss on my forehead. She’d repeat this about 20 more times in the night until we both woke exhausted. Being 90 lbs. she was never warm enough, but my father and I were always hopeful of a cool breeze from anywhere. Good thoughts.
I awake, startled, confused to where I am. Nothing is familiar, but someone had to keep covering me up, for I was swathed to my neck. I call for Mom, no answer. But this ball of fur comes charging at my face with a wet tongue for kisses, and I realize I am in my bed with a puppy named Beanni, who like Mom, is always cold, and nicely pulled all the covers back up, so he could burrow under them. He has a number of unusual talents, but still refuses to get housebroken.
But, to wake up afraid or confused in the middle of the night, waking up from long, sticky dreams that hang on for what seems forever, sweating next to this 5 lbs. of heat and love, I am grateful. Grateful for not being alone. Grateful that heaven has a thermostat, so when I finally meet my mother, she can bundle me up to her heart’s content.
Papa, are you there? It’s me, Vicki …and Beanni