On Sultry Dreams

December 26th, 2010 | Meera

You cannot counterfeit the air.

I have lived where the air is thick, crowded, and heavy—where the space rightfully allotted to the air, immense though it seems this must be (comprising, as it does, all of the vast latitudes and infinitesimal interstices left behind once earth, tree, stone, sea, and every animate and inanimate thing has taken up its place in the world), has nevertheless run out.

Where what space there is has become saturated with the dampness of sweat and steam and the rising puffs of the air’s own slow-moving breath. I have lived where molecules of water in the air are so numerous and insistent that they jostle hard against molecules of nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and tell them where they can stick it; where moisture besieges the pathways of the atmosphere like a rabble of old ladies, each one with her elbows out and umbrella a-kicking, each one rioting wetly against the delicate knees of those rarer and more noble gases that flit nervously out of the way.

Humid, they call the air in such a place, but what I call it is mobbed. And you cannot counterfeit this with your humidifiers and your steam rooms and your dreams of being there. You cannot counterfeit the air.

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2 Responses to “On Sultry Dreams”

  1. Jenn says:

    Beautiful post Meera. Merry Christmas!