I'm lying in bed.
The lamp emits a yellow light throughout the room and the hot, stuffy air wins the battle against the fan set on maximum speed. The door is open, as well as the window in an attempt to cool the environment. Outside, the dark of the night and a few leaves moving.
Laying with my face resting on my hand, I try not to think about the temperature, flipping through the virtual pages of an ebook that I am reading. Then I lazily check some websites, I try some new app, I roll over and change position. I can not stay focused on the words. In Perth it hasn’t rained for five months. Too hot!!
Suddenly it happens
With one eye I immediately perceive the movement to my left. I know what it is before I see it, in that split second when the visual impulse registers to the brain. All I have actually seen is a dark and indistinct shape floating mid air crossing the room: a flying cockroach in the room. Code red.
Transition from a state of relaxation to primal fury in zero point three seconds. A bucket of adrenaline floods the weary limbs and erases any ailment or symptom of exhaustion. The heat disappears by magic and all the senses are amplified.
Appearance of a physical skill hitherto non-existent, a virtually instantaneous ability to move independently both eyes, to allow one eye to follow the target and the other pointed toward the cabinet, where there is a canister of a substance at the limit of legality, ready to be sprayed on anything that has more than four legs. A chemical concentration so powerful that when released into the air, it creates a lack of life around it.
The filthy creature is fastly walking up the wall, whisking its wings.
I roll over my eyes and turn into Raiden.
The bastard flies, runs and climbs. A steady stream of chemical, greenish death hits all its five inches of filth. At first contact with the poison it tries to escape.
It lands decomposing on the carpet, while wiggling it legs and wings. After a few seconds it sprints in the direction of the wall and under the bed.
Meanwhile the murderess smoke clings to the remaining clean air, filling the room with a carcinogenic halo, smelling like an old, sick body left in the sun for days.
The two litres of adrenaline pumping through my body make me see everything in slow motion, projecting real time data wherever I look and by the time that little shit tries running toward the bed, I have already foreseen the whole thing. While with one hand and one eye I follow its movements and keep spraying death, with the other hand (and eye) I grab a thong. The dirty bug tips the dark cave under the bed, while I follow it with the can and unleash the thong at supersonic speed. The impact cuts half of its armor, while the deadly fumes penetrate the mushy body.
It manages to earn the corner behind the bed, where it stops still waiting for its coming death.
I bend down and I empty three cubic metres of gas under the bed, releasing a nuclear cloud that will last for days, erasing any living being of a size between bird and viruses within twenty yards from my room.
I observe the movements of the living filth become frantic, disheveled and jerky. Then it slows down, reclines, turns, dies.
I stand up in triumph
I look around and I see not walls, but stands packed with a cheering crowd, women who tear their clothes and tend hands toward me; men beat their chests shouting their admiration. It is not a chemical cloud that hovers around me, but a layer of stardust gold that shines a thousand reflections. I see no thongs, but tools... bearers of justice, death of rending of power.
I put down an imaginary helmet and think: anyone else??
The crowd responds ecstatic, screaming my name. Giordano! Giordano! Giordano!
Giordano! what the hell are you doing?? are you coming or what??
I wake up to the sound of the voice of Sergio calling me.
Lying on the couch, I am so sweaty that I reinvented the Shroud, now with a lot more detail.
I manage to get up and feel a glowing blade through my back. I freeze.
Holy shit, I must have left some skin exposed without sunscreen yesterday... Oh well, it will be a slight sunburn.
I end up walking to the bathroom more decomposed than Christopher Reeve. I look at my back in the mirror and what I see is a desolate landscape, destroyed by the flames. For a moment I evaluate what to do, contemplating different options:
- staying two days in the cold room of a butcher;
- surrendering my body to science;
- unhinging the fridge door and sitting inside;
- moving permanently to the north pole;
I take a shower so cold to bring relief to my veins and to frost my skin and hair.
In the following twenty minutes I put on a shirt.
With the fluidity of a Target mannequin I walk to the desk where I find Aspirin and Panadol. I put them in my pocket and I force myself to wait until I have eaten something, or I’ll risk finding a hole in my stomach courteously provided by Bayer and friends.
Then the drama.
The moment of putting on the backpack. I do it almost in apnea, as if not breathing will change something, but at least I do not move the skin over the lungs.
Shirt and backpack on, I feel comfortable or as if I had slept on a bed of thorns.
I will spend the next three days in that state, before I’ll begin to shed skin like the biggest of the anacondas, in the throes of an itch that makes me imagine showering with a car washing gun.
At that time I had yet another move to complete, in what would become my current home.
Moving with a layer of lava on ones back has never been an aspiration fo mine, so I decide to postpone at least for a couple of days and to relocate temporarily in the icy environment of the Sergio’s and the library in Ellenbrook, where the climate is hostile to life, but very pleasing to the writer, with a mild temperature of four degrees below zero. Nobel Prize to Miss Air Conditioning, thanks.
After exactly ten hours sitting at the bar, including a chat and a convulsion, I decide it's time to do something different and, taking advantage of the darkness of the night and the rental car at my disposal, I come up to develop a plan to distract myself as much as possible from the Martian soil under my shirt.
Result: pizza + movie solo.
I get in the car and set the air conditioning to the pleasant temperature of preserving organic finds.
After dinner I point towards the cinema, enjoying already the thought of the air conditioning and dreaming of wandering eternally shirtless, living a segregated life in the structure, sleeping between the vents. Film chosen: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty that, contrary to many opinions I heard about, I enjoy scene after scene, and I promote with full score.
I left the movie theatre with the symptoms of the fire slightly tamed thanks to a combination of cold air and painkillers. The route to home, at a rate deliberately reduced to savour the frost created in the car, lasts nearly an hour and leaves me time to think of this new phase.
The next round will be the interview that will give me my current job and yet I'm already thinking about how to reconcile a third degree burn with the appropriate clothes. Cool shirts and jackets normal at the front, but cropped to leave the bare back, like those beautiful clothes that women use in galas and which now I understand the real purpose.
A last ice shower before bed, trying to cool off as much as possible.
I will have to fight against a hot couch, sticky sheets and a baking temperature. I just hope to be able to fall asleep early.
I think I will let the door open. Hopefully nothing will fly in...
Writer wannabe, mojito and absinthe lover, one day I want to see the Earth from space. I’m a ESL Teacher.