Dear Diary: Almost summer

Dear Diary combines the intimacy of a diary-like narrative with the writer’s own experiences of things little in life and things big: politics and culture.

Dear Diary,

It’s almost summer. Between February’s gloom and March’s promise of unforgiving winds, there are a few days of relentless sun and leathered skin swinging to the soul of a soft, sparkling guitar. There are a few days thick with sweltering trees nearly melted to their dirt-ridden roots, a few days free of invisible frogs grumbling in sticky mud. It’s almost summer, and I can feel the warmth in my bones while blazing whispers burn strawberry fields onto my forearms. The sun seduces me. 

Slimy and slow. Lovesick, between humid breaths. A cure to something. 

Something, like an erratic heart. You hide when the sun comes out.

Erratic heart. When I lie there, waiting for the strawberries to ripen and transform into burnt sugar on salted skin, you seem to disappear. My body lightens — harsh beats become whimsical flutters, and blood no longer sends rocks and ripples into my gut. Sunlight sears right through me, right down into a child who prays, to their dusty ceiling, for god to feign ignorance to their tumultuous insides, like a cough syrup that drowns sick throats with cherry-flavored nothing. 

Skin peels, and that child fades away. I remain. Floating. 

No nurse clad in blue polyester and seafoam nylon comes to tell me that these sun-dried cherries are working, or that thank god I am healed because the jagged thrashing inside me has been smothered by the sun above. Instead, as I ripen, I listen to glimmering songs of wild horses and wild women, naively nodding my head to strums of the promise that there is something spectacularly wonderful about all this. About feeling adrift — untethered, free of a dragging, beating calamity.

I almost believe them, I really do, but that child comes running back, mildly tanner than last time; that syrup clogs the veins and that blistering light burns the skin and that sun cannot, it just cannot, wrap its tendrils around an erratic heart. No more dancing between rays, no more infatuated floating to the sound of Rolling Stones. 

A meandering stillness slips from my fingers. I try not to cry. These days, the sun boils through and through, beautifully, but it bares me whole. It’s sickly and disastrous. It’s almost summer.