The Blinding Heat

Nothing like the heat in a provincial island city.  It strikes you right between the eyes.

Everything stops, blurs.  Including time.

It’s been days since she looked at her watch.  She knows dawn is coming because the cocks start crowing.  Yes, she hears them clearly, even from the top floor of her hotel.

In contrast, every time she calls home, the husband seems obsessed with his nightly routine:  preparing sandwiches for his office lunch.  He worries what he will eat every day, at lunch.

He never mentions the garden, or the dog.  Only the sandwiches.  And the laundry.

He is worried about getting through the laundry and the sandwiches.  Everything is just overwhelming.  Self never knew how her mere presence (even though she is not the tidiest of housekeepers) keeps the husband from losing himself in compulsions.

Then, she texts son, and he has finally arrived in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  It is late at night there, and he is getting ready for bed.

Self thinks that Las Cruces is a town she has always wanted to visit.  And that’s where son’s girlfriend Jennie is from.

She imagines Las Cruces must be hot, too.  But not, probably, as hot as it is here, in Bacolod.  Bacolod is so hot that no one seems to have any work to do.  Taxis are lined up in front of the hotel, and as no one else (other than self) seems to be stirring at 1 in the afternoon, she has plenty of offers to drive her here, there, everywhere:  Pendy’s, Robinson’s, Bailon Fastfood, 21, SM City.  This afternoon she went to Riverside and passed the Colegio San Agustin and Bob’s.  All places she remembers from before, before, before.  It’s all coming back.  She didn’t think she’d ever feel this way again.

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