A Summer Tale

    A trickle of sweat finds its way down the middle of my back. Just inches above my waistline, the first is joined by a second trailing bead. This slow succession continues as the sun lobs over the tops of the palms. The orange and yellow orb is extremely far from the small white porch we laze on, but its heat seems to be magnified through the empty air. 
    I lift my hair off my neck. Small, cool rushes of air swell by my shoulders. He brought outside a paper fan from the parlor. It is one he bought for me at the Chinese restaurant near the wharf. I can still vividly recall the sparkle in his eye and his hearty laugh. We had visited all the tourist traps in the village that day and were quite high from exhaustion. 
    Today there would be no laughter. We are happy - perhaps happier than that day in the village. However, the heat is unbearable. It is like a weight - so powerful it even holds down the corners of our mouths. Any movement is a great effort. It is even worse in the house. At least here on the porch a slight breeze sometimes finds its way across. 
    "In this still, I can hear the ocean," he says, and it is true. The wind usually overpowers the crashing of the waves beyond the cliff. 
    We sit there moments longer. A seed has been planted. An idea is forming in our minds. He lifts himself slowly out of his seat. Gently, he takes my hand and helps me from my chair. Leaving the fan and our glasses of melting ice, we head toward the cliff. The breaking waves sound louder. We take the trail down to the beach. Without a word, we are enveloped by the sea. 
    When we return to the rocky sand, the sun has disappeared. By the moonlight, we seem almost phosphorous. The night air is cool, even cooler on our sea-drenched clothes. They are removed, and together we gather wood for a fire. 


©1999 Monica R Neumann