I laid on the pavement between the office’s front door and the gate pondering pondering while soaking in the sunshine I hadn’t felt for days. Finals season. My jeans are dark, soaking in the heat of the sun and starting to burn my skin. I didn’t know this was possible. And I’m a kid who could fry eggs on her hometown sidewalk. I know heat, but I guess I’m almost as close to the sun as you can possibly get on this planet.
I’m somewhere between meditation and lucid dreaming, definitely experiencing thought process but not in any sort of mellifluous way. I’m more so watching where my mind goes, following images along like a movie. My thoughts are taking me to scenes back home.
It’s the future, I’m in my new apartment with my roommates, two of my best friends. I’m simultaneously alone at the office, lying on the cement, hoping no one comes through the gate and thinks I’m a crazy person.
Our living room is decorated well. The lazy susan from my grandparent’s sitting room is in it. A tapestry I collected from the Maasai market is hanging behind. Vivian’s on the lazy susan. Her blushed skin looks pretty next to its coral color. My skin is turning the same shade of pink. My hips are really starting to burn from my jeans. I request a cloud to cover the sun for a moment, none of them respond. So I shift my legs up, now my knees are burning.
I cover my face with my scarf, concerned even more now that someone is going to walk in and think I’m a nut. But I’m too comfortable to move. The sun is enveloping me like a blanket, and even though it feels as if a mini-flame may light on my knees, I suck it up for a few more moments of stillness.
I see myself in two weeks, literally just two weeks, at home thinking of this moment. I try to remember everything about it so when I’m crashing through reverse culture shock, I can take myself back to this and float. I can so clearly visualize myself in my room in Delaware in two weeks that in an instant, I am one with myself here and there. We’re in the same time continuum, aligned in space. I question time entirely. These next 2 weeks will fly. Now, I want to be right here despite this being an unconventional rest spot.
Nothing feels as real as this pavement. I feel I’ve melted and cooked into it. We’re inseparable, bonded by a thermal chemical reaction. It has claimed me and I let it.
Time has been moving so fast that I forgot to stop and live within it. It has so felt like something I’m suffering from as the end of my time in Kenya comes to a sprinting stop. It is exhausting and I’m sweating and heaving til the finish line. I blame finals. All the same, I don’t want to recognize I’m moving forward. I’d rather be an ice cube with immobile molecules. I could be put in the sun and melt into this pavement and just get to stay here awhile. Even though I'm getting sun burnt.
My passport and plane tickets do not allow this. They tell me I’ve got less than two weeks, a paper, a presentation, and a whole lot of goodbyes to get on. I can’t wait to see my family and friends.
We will all be together for the holidays. I’ll have to wear my cocoon coat. I call it that because it is so fluffy I can curl up inside like a caterpillar. I wish I emerged a butterfly. I emerge an ice cube. But an ice cube without a sun and pavement to cuddle it.
My phone rings. Its the taxi driver and he’s here. This means movement.
Nothing ever is how expected here. I would have predicted my chaotic internship to end differently. But here I am, the first time I’ve ever been alone at the office, laying like a starfish in the sun. This is how it would go.
Goodbye pavement. Goodbye building. Goodbye whiteboard doodle. Goodbye Hot Sun. This happened.