A Journey


The wind blew fierce and heavy, hot-fisted gusts into her face, making her stagger.  She squinted, and continued up the hill.  The humidity pulled her down straight into the depths of Hell.  It was just like the time she had been in Arabia, only here, the heat was meaner, more intense. You had to fight it with every ounce of your being.  She trudged on, and the ground sloped mercilessly upward, a degree more with every step that she took.

She could choose to stop and rest, but it would be on the sweltering black asphat. Or the sweltering gray concrete.  She reached for her water bottle.  Empty.  She tossed it to the ground in contempt, but then picked it up again, afraid of the militant recyclers. She adjusted the shoulder strap on her bag, grown from 5 to 10 lbs over the past 10 minutes, and continued to treck up an incline.

After five minutes, she was drenched through and through, and  oppressive heat hugged her like a woolen blanket.  She wiped her brow slowly with her forehand and saw the jerk sun, stubbornly refusing to set, glistening in the cloudless blue sky.  She kept trudging uphill.  Soon, she began to see mirages.  Little children ran past her, laughing. Her skin was wet, then dry.  Completely dry. The first signs of dehydration, she thought carelessly.

Suddenly, she fell to the ground, just feet away from her destination.  She sat in the scorched grass. She couldn’t move. And yet, she had to complete this journey.   She knew this with every fibre of her being.

Because her husband was inside, in the cool air conditioning, and she couldn’t wait to give him shit for not picking her up at the train station.

She struggled to her feet. She opened the door, and the icy blast of the air conditioning hit her.

“I feel like I can’t walk anymore,” she announced dramatically.

“Are you kidding me?  The train station is a little over half a mile away, and you’re 24 years old,” replied her callous husband.

“Yeah, but the walk to work, from work, to the train station, from the train station.  It drains me,” she said. “Pick me up from the train,” she pleaded.

“So you’re telling me that you WALK less than 5 kilometers a day, over the span of eight hours, and you have no more will to live,” Marquis de Sade asked.

“Neither will you if you don’t pick me up today,” she foreshadowed in her mind.