It’s a fucking hot night.
Cement is radiating heat, people in their underwear on their balconies; don’t give two shits who may be watching – people can’t care anymore about much else because they can’t get over the discomfort of their own sweat you see. Lady in the opposite apartment is coaxing what I’m guessing is a nine year old boy to go to bed early and the kid’s giving her lip. Some dude has just given up and popped his feet over the railings and slumped into a chair. He does not care who his girl is feverishly texting, cold glow illuminating her features in the distance.
It’s just too damn hot to confront an infidelity.
The train rattles its way over the tracks hooting as it vanishes into the distance leaving nothing behind but the slight flutter that your ears have been violated, and the thought of every single sweaty soul that has said goodbye to another at a train station. The thought of those train station goodbyes shakes me to the very bottom of my sweat-stained soul.
I get dragged back into thought by the tinkling of a piano, and the sound is soothing, you can feel its crispy coolness tingling down the back of your spine. The fan finally rotates in your direction and you experience a fleeting sense of absolute mind-blowing better-than-sex ecstasy as you feel the fan pan and the breeze graze its lips across your stretched out body.
It’s in those flittering slivers of time when we are given brief pause from the duress of the city heat. It’s the tinkering of the ivory keys chipping ever so softly against the mass of concrete and steel and flesh that we’ve all considered a mighty grand place to be; a mighty fine place to hammer out a piece of existence.
And yet we do, mostly all, choose it. We choose to live here.
It sounds a more romantic notion than it really is, it’s probably more realistic to be honest with you folks. We just, at some point, made a choice.
It’s easy to fall in love with this gloriously ugly city after you finally make that choice.
Somewhere, there’s a baby laughing and there’s something about how genuine and innocent a laugh it is that it even paints this heatsink in a different image. It shifts the colours, you know what I mean?
Glancing up, I catch a silhouette reflected upon my open window. Laundry. A woman is reaching over pulling in sheets absolutely toasted and air dried to perfection smelling of lavender and real soap and all the other wonderful things of dreams perhaps unfit for a scorching Mediterranean city with all-too-frequent garbage collection issues.
Slowly you can hear an audible panting and moaning. Mixed breathing, curt breaths and hushed whispers of a couple that is kind of into dirty talk but at the same time still a little shy a little; too early to call each other babe. That was the moment these two were choosing to share with the triangle of apartment blocks we all call home.
Maybe we’re all romantics deep-down inside, maybe that’s why we do it – I don’t know.
Perhaps we’re just suckers for punishment – but in a twisted way perhaps that’s the same thing?
I like to think that it’s a city full of cynics who want so deeply, so darkly, to be romantic souls. To believe in a dream. Whatever that dream may be for whoever. The dream of whoever is feeding the laughing baby next door. The dream of whoever is folding their fresh, clean, dry sheets. The dreams of whichever couple going is to absolute town on each other.
These are the kind of dreams I wish we all can secretly hope for: the hidden romantic dreams of disappointed, cynical people.
Would it only were that we could help them come true.