When he asked her to move over in bed, he didn't ask her to move over, he said, I can hardly breathe.
Hypochondriacs are much more likely to overly self diagnose in times of extreme weather. She felt ugly, or maybe it was just unattractively old, when the heat expanded the tissue in her joints and her favorite moving parts became cumbersome and sluggish. She spent her bathroom breaks in the walk in cooler looking for her youth. She found that the bright green bits of broccoli sprouts held the most promise. Hearing his sorted request, she was happy to move over. She shared a queen bed with her two younger sisters through her childhood, and sleeping on the edge of that bed kept her alert and thus demanded only the most worthwhile dreams to be projected upon her mind, and in her head.
It’s much cooler over here.
They spent all day talking about the heatwave. First on the commute, then at their desks, then at lunch, then in the meetings, then at happy hour, then at home on the phone with their mothers, then at home with each other and the seven o’clock news.
It was something fun when they emptied the contents of their freezer. The ice cube fight that soon escalated to a frozen pea frenzy that warranted an ice cream truce. There was talk of watching March of the Penguins. Instead they soaked cold water cloths and laid them out on each other’s backs in the widest part of their living room. He drew a map on the cloths on her back by running his longest fingers through them. When she shivered, his map suffered earthquakes. The cold water gathered and ran in rivers where he left pressure. He crossed her spine carefully, fearing a flood, crafting waterslides. He was a city planner, a creator of aqueducts, and he smiled from time to time. Where he saw puddles she felt relief, and his fingers splashed in them, splashing in her relief, childishly.
After a cold shower they stripped the bed, opened the windows, closed the curtains, ran the box fan, laid on their backs and tried to sleep.
He looked it up earlier that day, he looked up the coldest part of a common day.
He had all night to tell her it wouldn’t be the coldest until half an hour after sunrise.
She kept on telling him, it’s getting colder yet, let’s cuddle, can we cuddle yet?
But the warmth made him irritable, his bones vibrated and her joints throbbed.
And he couldn’t tell her, it’s the coldest after sunrise.
He just kept on saying, I can hardly breathe, when he just wanted her to move over.