The air was a blanket, tepid and damp like it had just come out of a dryer that didn’t work. She wanted to breathe it in, this foggy stickiness, but the air was goo in her lungs. This was not deep breath air.
She remembered a decade ago, the sun that baked liquid droplets of sweat into her navy blue shirt as she walked towards the Watergate. She was green then, wide-eyed to the big city, and she got hopelessly turned around in a traffic circle that felt enormous.
They had offered to pay for her taxi, but she chose to wander the new neighborhood on foot. It was magic to her. A constant stream of cars that passed, coughing out fuel fumes that caused her fellow walkers to crinkle their noses. There was so much everything. Cars and horns and people and activity. She was part of it all. Monuments blazed in the oven sun, and she shaded her eyes, marvelling at being here in person. That this was her reality, her home.
Details are hazy now. She can remember the errand and her skirt – green and blue and tropical. And sometimes in the muggy soup, moments collide into her memory, and the Summer becomes time-less.