July. It was grey again, 85 degrees, and the humid heavy air belied the sky’s desperation for relief. My head tightened with slight atmospheric pressure and I watched a lone, blue balloon punctuate the clouds, adrift from the small hand that once held it. I looked into your eyes, blue and deep. Many feel that time slows down in the summer, but it has no meaning when you remind me of our present; in that patch of shade where we paused to contemplate the weather, we only checked the temperature, not the hour, before progressing towards the cooling respite of refrigerated, filtered water (oh, how first world!) and sour, salty pickles.

We are transforming under grey skies and intermittent rain and weather patterns reminiscent of England, not America. A sudden burst of sunlight on a Saturday afternoon, a sunburn from a clear day when we’ve forgotten what they’re like, and firey late afternoon, supine and sweaty with beading beers and the precise yet lazy whirring of fan blades. I smelled a barbecue to which we were not invited, but it doesn’t matter anyway because someone else scheduled it, and we are lost in time together.

In the evenings, the light kisses the sky delicately for longer, the cicadas don’t start shrieking until late. I feel naughty, like I’ve taken something that does not belong to me, but having waited for so long to learn how to slow time, my guilt is assuaged by the bright blindingness that found a like intensity with which to meld.

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