Heat of September

Hours of sleep vibrate away in the sticky heat of yellow street lights. Indian Summer, Fall semester, nocturnal emissions lost in hopes of dust, waking daydreams. Corners of the dormitories safely lit with yellow spotlights. Not a name, not a whisper, not a footstep to be heard in the alleys and the campus yards. His fourth floor dorm room has sweat on the walls, damp sheets, a computer screen. A TV flickers fractures of daytime sitcoms, primetime interviews. Cigarette smoke wafting out his open window. He is just trying to cope. He is in his boxers on the edge of his bed sweating and just trying to cope, night number 6 that he hasn’t slept till 6am, just before the alarm clock, the interminable hours of sunrise and schoolbooks. Long days half-asleep, hearing cheers and happy shouts outside at noon, while inside, cold, he hides under blankets for a sitcom and a desperate snooze. A pulsating awareness, clammy fear of letting go – long hours in formaldehyde textbooks, lingering conversations, inconsequential friendships, young women to whisper his dreams, mockingly. He finds himself on foot in the damp night, unable to shake the fear of fleeting time – three more long years, he’ll sure be fatter and slower and smaller in all the vital ways it counts – how can he persevere, when his head is somewhere else, his heart is everywhere else, the world is everywhere else, but here. He hates his mother, he curses his father in quiet eulogies out-front the dormitory. He pines for the freedoms of high school summers. His knuckles are sore, bits of skin left on brick walls of his dorm room; fitful nights excited for nothing with everything to do, nowhere to go but to sleep. He wants to know a girl who asks for deposits in her asshole. He wants to know the bloodshot eyes of sidewalk dawns. He wants to find himself lost in strange cities of minarets and Tibetan monks. He wants to see crescent moons over shimmering rivers with a girl he adores. He wants to crack his head open like an egg on the porcelain sink of the dormitory bathroom. He wants the world to leave him alone.

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