It's been hot here, we hit the 90* mark today. In a rambling hundred year-old farmhouse that boasts of no artificial cool, this means I move slower. There is no running up the stairs or dashing to the front door when the bell rings. The laze of summer heat makes my limbs drowsy, as if the air is sweet honey and I'm swimming.
Ribs on the grill and watermelon. Long hours spent sipping gin and tonic, reading on the front porch with Hazel stretched out by my feet. The breeze, balmy and soft, ran fingers through my hair and brought the scent of basil and rosemary from the planters on the rail as it plucked at the strings of my sundress. Birds trilled, neighbors waved, I stretched and turned a page.
Dusk and kisses and freshly clean heads tucked into beds, the house quiets. As is my ritual each evening, I head up to the claw foot tub in the room next to mine, waiting for me. I delight in water, especially at the end of the day, it washes my frets away as well as the sweat from my skin. The smell of the night slips in through the open window...grass, cooling pavement, somewhere a bonfire burns.
Delicious waves sluice down my spine, I sigh, tilt back my head. Filling my palm with shampoo, I ponder the day. I'd chatted with our neighbors, chuckling over how we had "seen each other at our worst." From child temper tantrums to covered in sweat and paint; filthy from the garden, sick as hell once in a while. She mentioned that she loved how intimate our street was. That word has clung to me today.
The funny thing is, though our homes and lives are separated by mere yards, there are oceans of things unknown. While we've shared meals and walks and a slight disconcertion about the overly friendly mailman, they know so little of my thoughts...fears...battles and triumphs. In complete contrast, I take you, you reading this, everywhere in my mind.
Tonight there was a comment waiting for me that meant the world, made me well up with tears...warmth. I contemplate the words, turning them over and over in my mind much as I would relish a bite of decadent food. As the razor glides up the inside of my calf, suds ivory white against the sun-kissed skin...I think of you. I wonder at times, how vulnerable I am here in this electric world. How frank and honest. I have yet to be hurt here, though I'm sure this is more a matter of time than anything else, and so bare much....often.
My neighbors may share my afternoon, my porch.....but you share my shower. How has this intimacy grown so deep?