Sleepingwaking in a Sun-Hot Land

Awake.
There’s a strong wind blowing outside. Maybe it will be a cooler day. No, no, it’s Emily the fan still running. My mouth is ngh-ngh-ngh so I swallow. I move my hand from my stomach where it has left a ring of fingermarks in sweat.
Asleep.

Awake.
There’s a strong wind blowing outside that sounds like a thunderstorm coming. Perhaps a cooler day, perhaps rain, though I’m not equipped for that. No umbrella, no raincoat, just shorts and dresses. No, no, it’s Emily still running, thhhh-bwa-bwa-bwa-bwa-bwa-thhhh. It’s dark outside. I turn onto my side so that Emily’s breath can cool the sweat on my back.
Asleep.

Awake.
She is moving around the room. The door opens and closes, keys rattle in the lock. I scratch an itch on my stomach, wonder if it’s a mosquito bite, and then itches spread all over my side, my face, my leg and back to my stomach again. It’s not a mosquito, I think. It’s not a mosquito.
Asleep.

Awake.
My hair is still damp against my head and the sky is dark – there may still be hours to go before dawn. A car engine starts outside with a thack-chack-bang. Voices raised. There’s a cooler breeze coming from the open window. Perhaps the night’s heat has peaked. No, no, it’s Emily still blowing. I remember these hot nights from an August in Osaka. But actually I’ve forgotten the nights, remembering only the relief of cold showers in the morning, washing away the night’s sweat. The only time before that I’d enjoyed cold showers. At that time I was shocked my sister would leave her fan on all night – now I have Emily to spin and whirl.
Asleep.

Awake.
It’s light outside now. Then sun isn’t yet beating against the side of the building. The curtain moves in Emily’s breeze and brushes with light fingertips against my leg. What time is it? It’s not quite time.
Asleep.

Awake.
What time is it? It’s light outside and she is next to me, lying very still, her hands crossed neatly on her stomach. I crawl and shuffle over to the table and pick up my watch. It’s time to eyeball the day, dispatch the night, dirty my feet, seek wind tunnels, drink black-brewed coffee, stumble out words, sweat olive oil, walk single file in the shade, swap shorts for dresses then dresses for nothing. It’s time to wake up.
Awake.