Thursday, March 22, 2007

dreaming of Rio

I was huddled under the 20-pound mound of blankets in the guest room, trying to regain feeling in my fingers and toes. The weather here has been barely reaching 40 during the day, very damp and chilly, with a howling, cutting wind that makes the outdoors so cold that my knuckles ache. I've worn the same sweatshirt for three days now, trying to ward off the cold, trying to ignore the goosebumps perpetually crawling over my flesh.

And suddenly, I was fed up with the futility of it all. For the first time in my life, I want to travel to an exotic, hot country. Funny, for a girl whose ancestors all lived far north of the 50N latitude line, who has always eschewed heat, who always slathers on sunscreen in the summer, who turns up her nose at the beach, sand, and sun. Funny, for a girl whose dreams lately have been of a small apartment in Indiana, our own, where 73 degrees sounds hot.

That said, I want to go to Rio. I want to lie in the sun, on the hot sand of Ipanema, not caring about sunscreen, and getting a tan for the first time in my adult life! Relaxing in a bikini in the hot sun, walking barefoot through the sand, falling into the waves, drinking rum, and kissing John in the midst of all this, surrounded by frolicking Brasilians. Strolling down the sidewalk in flip flops, a short skirt, and a bikini top, arm in arm with John, a breeze playing with my hair, big sunglasses keeping the sun out of my eyes; playing the part of the lazy tourists, exploring Rio, buying cheap trinkets and drinking a lot of rum.

So I'm sitting here, my frozen fingers wrapped around a mug of steaming coffee (complete with a splash of Puerto Rican rum for effect), listening to Latin music, trying to ignore the fact that just to my right is a window that displays a freezing March day in all its barren, faded, depressing glory.

Here, even the sunlight looks cold.

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