Remember the time when you woke up from a horrible dream and realised you hadn't been sleeping?
The summer night offers respite to many. The working men go home and take off their work clothes. Some have a shower, some don't. They eat their dinner without too much meat because meat gets them hot. But they do enjoy a good strong drink with some ice. They watch TV for a while and then they fuck their wives. Or they do it during, if a sleazy movie is on. Usually, the summer gets them too tired so they pass out on their wives the moment they are done.
She will look at the ceiling in the moonlight for a while and wonder why she is crying. Then she will wriggle out from under her husband and curl up into a ball on her side. She will not sleep just yet. His sweat will be lathered on her body and the stench will suffocate her. She must wash herself if she wants to get some rest, she knows. The warmth on her and inside her clouds over and boils. It will be the next day before she is clean again. There is no water in the tank.
Outside, on the road, many men are putting themselves to sleep amidst needles and charred spoons. They smile when they feel their bodies awash in summer flames. They are happy people. They have blackened teeth and dirty hair. The boys they sleep with were afraid at first but they learned the ways of the road quite well. December was a good time for training. The cold made the men ready to go all the time. It is not easy living on the street when it is cold. Men will want to do it just to feel the energy coursing through them. It hurt and bled at first and it hurt a lot more because of the cold but they had the medicine to make the pain go away. And the pain goes away every day now. Only, it is better in the summer. They don't last as long because it is too hot to do it. They only do it out of habit now.
Some can't sleep yet. Some, like the bartender, will be awake all night. This is the time. This is the wave they must ride. Summer is good for business. The crowd is heavy on summer nights and they mostly want beer. Soon they will start feeling good about themselves and they will sing. Noise scares the bartender. When people start getting loud, they start getting rowdy. He wishes he was at an upscale place. Girls going to those places go out with the bartenders, he has heard. A nice place in town with some music, he reckons. There are no girls in this bar. Not in summer, for sure, unless somebody walks in with a paid for woman. He hopes nobody does. It always invites trouble. As the singing gets louder, he knows he is not done hoping for things. He hopes nobody in the house has brought a gun or a knife. Men are always ready to spill blood in the summer.
I hide behind a smoke screen and sing to the ceiling fan. It tells me many stories when I close my eyes and really listen. There is a favourite of its concerning a man who hanged himself from it once. I do not know if it is true. Summer is a time of delirium. I am never quite sure of what I feel in the summertime. I supposed it is because of the icy whiskey my heart has been pumping all night. I close my eyes. The fan sings me a lullaby in its broken voice. I dread the sense of security that is enveloping me like many shadows of the past. I keep my eyes closed nonetheless - my finger remains on the trigger.
Remember the time when you woke up from a horrible dream and realised you hadn't been sleeping? Every summer night.