White Summer

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Last week, I had answered a question about the girl series, which reminded me that I haven’t written one in quite some time, so I’ve decided to write one. For those who are new, the girl series is a bunch of short stories about an unnamed girl and her experiences.  For an archive of the girl series, you can go here.

The girl took in a breath. It was a warm breath. After all, it was summer and it was more than 95 degrees outside. It didn’t help matters that it was humid outside.

There the girl was, squatting on the sidewalk, holding a short branch from a tree, like she was a five year old boy who was curious about bugs.  It was oddly comforting to be under the shade with a stick in her right hand, even if it was really hot outside. It occurred to her that she could head home, where she would be comfortable in the air conditioned environment. However, it was fun for the girl, a little exhilarating, to have no cares in the world, even for fraction of her summer break, and relive her childhood.

She hadn’t felt so liberated in a long time and it was comical to her that her liberation in the form of a short tree branch and bugs. Truth be told, she was not a big fan of bugs and she wasn’t a fan of bugs eve when she was little, but it was just so relaxing to just watch bugs crawling around. The girl had the time to do such things and the idea set her mind free. She was doing something that was entirely pointless and when she was finished, she would be at the same point before she started. Her work with the wooden stick amounted to nothing and it was in that idea that she found comfort.

Not even cars drove by. Even little kids were at home, in their air conditioned cocoons, enjoying the artificial weather. She was the only one. The girl was a sensible person, doing things that were appropriate, having good manners, and the like. Maybe she had lost her senses and that’s why she was sitting outside under the blistering sun, poking around with a stick. That thought occurred to her more than once when she was outside, and sometimes she agreed. It was only right, that she had lost something because no person with common sense would go outside in that weather and play with a stick. Even the bugs had decided to stay someplace cool and not crawl around on the scorching hot cement sidewalk.

The girl had registered all of this and for a moment, she had the urge to laugh for no reason at all, like a madman. She wanted to laugh at the world, at herself, and at the pure fact that she was outside on a hot summer day with a tree branch in her hand.

Perhaps it wasn’t at all about the desire to relive her childhood. She didn’t even like bugs. Not now. Not then. It was just pure desire that had made her open the door and walk out to the hot, hot world.
Soon it would be time for her to leave, in the metaphorical sense, her childhood, and in the literal sense.
The girl looked down at her hands. What was she doing with a stick? It was hot outside and her shirt was drenched in sweat. What was she doing outside in this weather? 

The girl got up, dropped the stick, never looking down at the ground to see where it landed. It was like she was under a spell and maybe she was. The stick never really mattered to her when she was holding it and now when she didn’t have a purpose for it, she dropped it like a dead weight.

She walked towards her house, to where the air conditioned rooms were. She needed that, the coolness, to calm herself and to sort things out. She needed to cool her mind. What was she thinking going outside in this maddening weather, the temperature hot enough to make an egg cook? She had things to do, things to get done and when she was done, she’d have to write down a schedule for tomorrow with a list of things that she had to do tomorrow.

“Yes,” the girl had thought, “it was a bit of madness that had made me go outside and play around with bugs and sticks.” Perhaps it was.

What if it wasn’t?

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