Summer in the city (with apologies to John Sebastian)

The night was calm, hot and sticky. There was no wind to speak of, and the apartment was becoming an oven of major proportions. I jokingly asked if we had a meat thermometer. You asked why. I replied that I wanted to stick it in me to find out if I was medium well or still rare… At least this got a laugh, and I hoped I would feel a bit of the breeze from that, but the laugh was a chuckle and I have always wished for the impossible. That is how I came to be with you, so sometimes it works…

I suggested that we go up to the roof to see if there was any air to be had. I did not have much hope that the asphalt, or whatever was up there would have cooled down, but, as I said, I wish for the impossible. To our surprise there was a wood floor on the roof, and four or five unoccupied chairs. We had brought up our own, just in case, and I have to think that no one else had the same idea yet.

There was a very slight breeze and the temperature was definitely cooler, but what really caught my attention, and my breath, was the view out over the city… I held your hand as we went over, leaned on the cement wall that surrounded the roof, and just looked around. The hills in the park were just black areas in the night, but the path lights that wound through them were a necklace of beauty in a sea of gaudy. Red lights, and blue signs, green and orange signals, white spots and golden streetlights demanded out attention and fought for their spot in the darkness. People, just dots under the lights scuttled or sauntered down sidewalks, into and out of air conditioned establishments, a thousand stories, all unknown, moving to their own music.

Even though the heat was still in the air, you cuddled up against me, and we took out lounge chairs to one of the raised areas. I would have to guess that these were used by people getting tans during the day, but they had forgotten the roof on this sweltering evening, perhaps mistaking it for the heat of the day. You left your chair and lay against me on mine. We just stared at the beauty that surrounded us, I even glanced out at the roof and the city when my eyes took a minute away from your face. I felt your leg stretch over mine, and the extra heat was actually welcome, as my fingers traced small patterns on your shoulder and I felt the tickle of you blond hair on my cheek. I would move from time to time, to adjust our bodies for more comfort, or more intimacy, to stretch around and kiss your cheek, to reach my hand around to your back to trace my patterns, each a message that says, I care, I love, I want to be here with you.

Every once in a while, you would look up to return a kiss, or share a kiss, which made the heat of the night a familiar and welcome thing.

The stars were out, not many, but here in the city, one is considered lucky. I could see a few of the brighter constellations, and looked very hard to see if your star was visible. I had given it to you in the tropics on one of our first cruises, on a night as warm as this with the water rushing past our balcony and the moon pointing its’ light right at us across the calm gulf waters. I remember following that road of light out, past the moon, until I found a star in the northern sky that was beautiful enough, twinkly enough, sparkly enough to reflect your personality. You had accepted the star with a kiss, and I looked for it now, almost straight overhead in the hopes of another. I believe that I could see it, just above Orion’s shoulder, but was not sure that it was not a kiss wish sharpening my eyes.

I pointed out the star to you, and you looked up…”Mine?” you asked.

“I think so, or at least, I hope so”

“Close enough” as the kiss drown out the rest of the sentence. I love sentences that die like that.

A soft breeze fell over the wall and caressed our legs, and I had hopes that the heat would break, at least a bit. You just closed your eyes and enjoyed the night. You had always been the smart one in our couple, so I gently followed your example.

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