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2002-09-10 3:48 p.m.

I took a break at work today, which is unlike me. I don't usually take breaks. But, I figured if so many smokers do it so often, it must not be so bad to actually stop working and go outside for five minutes.

It felt hotter than any day I could remember this August. But, it might just be that my memory is bad, or that the stillness of the air gave the illusion that it was so much warmer than it really was. It surprised me that so many months of summer passed before I decided to actually notice and appreciate the warmth—I felt a sense of loss, as if I arrived halfway through the movie.

I sat under the heavy blanket of Indian summer's sun and felt myself warm deep into my marrow. I reenergized, which was strange since I did not realize that I was even in need of reenergizing. But, as I sat there it made so much sense. I was made aware of what I did not know I was lacking.

I closed my eyes and turned my face to the sun like a flower does. I explored the lush, red topography of the insides of my eyelids, illuminated throughout by that one star nearest the Earth. As I looked around with my eyes closed I could almost make the details out, sort of like stargazing without my glasses on. I could almost trace the dark red veins against the pink, backlit backdrop. It was a lot like holding a leaf up to a light to better examine the artful patterns of its veins and arteries—they look like a road map. But, in this case the veins I watched carried blood and not water. And, inside my eyelids the seasonal decor is always red and pink, not the trendy dry, green–brown that the trees wear when summer silently melts into autumn.

I opened my eyes, picked up my iced tea and walked back inside. The dim fluorescent lights shocked my pupils until they became barely pinpricks. The feeling was almost violent. It is hard to climb stairs with pinpricks for pupils.



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