I look down, blinking as the steam dissipates from the lenses of my wide-rimmed glasses and disappears into the hungry pores of my skin. The dewy warmth is a welcome stranger amidst the drought, which summer had brought with it some months ago and left to linger in March. Yes, the drought has not yet passed. And like a wandering child left to entertain herself at an unknown relative’s house as mom talks away and away for hours at a time, the drought has crept into a well-sought hiding spot. From there, the dry and cracking air of the unseasonably hot summer has corrupted the planned hues, tan and beige, of autumn. So that when I run, the crunching leaves penetrate the beat of the music in my ears, and my breath burns my lungs less comfortably. Even the naked trees struggle for a breath.
At night, this strange coupling of seasons leaves my legs sweaty but my feet cold. I’m left to dangle, awkward and paranoid, as the blankets cover half my body and collect my sticky yawns. Of this strange coupling, drought, and dry air, I cannot tell the two apart. But they feed one another. And I can feel their hunger on the dry patches of my skin, my bleeding nose; and I can hear their rows as the two fight for a purpose to exist, leaving my hair frizzing in the smoke of their fire. No, the drought has not yet left its hiding spot. So, I welcome the dewy warmth on the blackheads of my nose and I allow the steam to cloud the dirty lenses of my wide-rimmed glasses.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
I live in South Africa, so our autumn season is from March-May (hence, the mention of March after summer in the written piece).
This is a descriptive piece meant to bring a more artistic feeling to something ordinary. The drought and dry autumn air would appear to be similar, or even complement one another, but the spillover from one season (summer drought) is wreaking havoc on the balance of the following season (autumn). This piece is meant to highlight the delicate balance of the seasons and it aims to do so in an abstract, creative manner.