Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The First Morning

The air is crisp, promising the warmth that I've been craving for months. The sky matches the color of the pool exactly, clouds strolling across my field of vision, blocking the sun only to reveal it again. A choir of birds sing the praises of the day from all around me, perched in tall trees and hidden by greenery. Dried leaves litter the peach deck of my friend Austin's house. "Autumn," he said last night, picking up a brown leaf that had made its way into his empty glass. He held it up like evidence. But it feels like summer to me.

In the pool, the vacuum spins in lazy circles, preparing the white bottom for swimming later. My skin is so white, I'm afraid I'll burn and shrivel if left unprotected, but it feels too good sitting out here; I'm too lazy to go inside and cover myself in Coppertone. I breathe in the damp air, letting the light humidity fill my lungs. The air isn't sticky yet, it's too early for that. It's dewy, beads of warmth dancing in the air. It feels creamy. Soft.

I'm surrounded by rich greens and vivid pinks. Flowers call to me from all sides of the yard, beckoning me with their cool blues and soft purples. Palm trees sway in the wind. "Welcome to Florida," they wave, as if coaxing me to stay forever. Trees at home are naked, their skeletons exposed to the harsh cold, frigid gusts of wind. But here, trees are wearing their summer clothes; Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirts made of thick waxy leaves and velveteen blossoms. It's a back yard, but it looks tropical and inviting, so far from where I was two days ago.

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