You take the duvet out of the sheet, let your fan run all night long, undress down to your skin and hold your hair up from a sweaty neck. You pray you won’t wake up sweating during the night, cause it’s always so difficult to go back to sleep if you do. When the suffocating air makes your skin damp. But it also makes your hair fuller, your skin softer and lets you get out of bed before 8am without wanting to die.
You sit in your window one June evening. Smoking a cigarette and listening to the birds, the Puerto Rican guys selling weed out on the street, the kids playing in the pool across the fence. One foot on the fire escape, one on the window sill. The smoke stands still as you blow it out in front of you. Everything stands still.
You used to chase them. Not in a pathetic way, but in an easy way. You used to lean over and smile and say something sarcastic and they’d kiss you. On cold winter nights they took you home, warmed you with a joint and an episode on Netflix before you went to bed. Sometimes didn’t make it to the bed. Fake romance and mundane compliments made your heart race.
The streets look exactly the same as they did two years ago. A sky so pink it could be fake, stoops decorated with people who speak loud in Spanish and a smell of vanilla cigarettes filling up the block. A water hydrant is spraying water all over the streets and some kids are cooling down in it. You know the streets by heart. By now. You walk fast, like everyone else and you don’t take it in. Taking it all for granted while thinking of what to eat or what to say or how to dress.