You'd think I'd have figured these things out by now, but I only just today realized how triggering the summer time is for me. All the extra sunshine, the heat, and the indoors humidity and the fucking houseflies that get in the house and never leave... all this brings me right back kicking and screaming to childhood summers spent in Oklahoma.
And I realize my stomach is tight and tense and I have a feeling of foreboding. I feel fat and heavy and weak. I feel hyper aware of all the ways my body isn't fitting me right, is weighing me down, restricting me to where I couldn't run even if I were being chased. I expect to be chased. Hunted. I expect to hear the screech of tires when I walk outside and somebody calling me and my granddaddy's whole family names. I expect gunfire.
I begin to feel like an animal of prey. I sniff the air around me in search of the scent that means danger, the foreign smells of a man in my house, for instance, my daddy in my mama's house, my granddaddy in my granny's, any man in my aunties... anywhere only us girls get to stay and be left the hell alone... except whenever the menfolk decide they want to pay a visit between drinking, gambling and breaking the law but no we are too damned polite to say no, not in my house, not here.
Instead I pick up the random scent of the garbage rotting in the kitchen. I always forget to take out the garbage, it was the one thing the menfolk were supposed to do but never did and so subconciously I leave it there waiting for a man to do what I know he won't... because at least the disappointment is familiar (oh the irony!). I go to the bathroom and expect to see the toilet lid up, marking MY home and sanctuary as THEIR territory, and I expect to smell that pungent piss smell men seem to leave behind them everywhere they go. And then I am afraid to see what I might see, smell what I might smell. If I smell piss in there wouldn't it be because I'm the one who made that pissy smell? What then does that make me? So I hold my breath and I strip naked and I shower and shower and shower...
Getting clean doesn't help. Taking the trash out doesn't help. No matter what, I jump at the slightest noises I want to be held but not touched, so I settle for being left alone and above all I am cranky for no damn good reason I can think of. At night I turn the fan on full blast, trying to blast the summer sweat off my body and I lay face down in the mattress and get this deep bone feeling that I'm scared and I want my mommy .....
I hate the motherfucking summer heat. I hate beautiful sunshiney days and blue skies. And when I say hate I mean that. I hate it in my soul. I hate it so much it physically hurts me. I've always blamed it on my eye condition (keratoconus) and how it predisposes me to be extremely photosensitive. But now I see how little that has to do with it.
It's amazing what the body remembers long after the mind has gone.