It’s too damned hot. That was my first thought as I headed to the train station. It was not yet eight AM, but it was at least ninety degrees and muggy. The idea of going back to my apartment and drowning myself in a cold bathtub ran through my mind on constant repeat. I heaved my overstuffed bag higher on my shoulder and climbed the stairs to the train platform. Public transportation was supposed to be easier, but I couldn’t see it. Air conditioning was available in even the smallest car, standing in this heat made me bemoan my lack of individual car. The platform overlooked the city. I loved the city, the view always let me breathless. Early summer meant that the trees were bright green and the flowers were in full bloom. I adored the roses, whose smell took me back to happy childhood memories and brought a sense of calm and joy. Then a train arrived and, in a flurry of heat and smog, ruined the moment for me.
A flush of people boarded the train, but I was not one of them. A bench opened up and I decided it was better to melt sitting than standing. I was wrong. My skirt rode high on my thighs leaving my bare skin against the plastic of the bench. I’ve been a big girl all my life, and as such, my thighs were close and immediate friends. And too, I know the familiar feeling of sweat pooling and seeping through the fabric of my panties. Not cool. I immediately jump up, desperate not to spend the morning commute with a wet spot on my summer weight, tan skirt. I really hate the heat.
I glance at the sign; it tells me, much to my immense dismay, that there are seven minutes until my train arrives. I move around the train platform on the hunt for any kind of breeze. On my second lap I see the cutest little girl. She had pale skin and bright red hair – so bright I would have thought it was from a box if she was older. Some one brilliant had pulled her hair into two high ponytails, with the ends wrapped around the root. Lucky kid… My bushy hair was left loose today. I can’t tolerate a ponytail or puff on hot days – I need air to flow across my scalp when possible. As I watched, the little girl was transfixed by the movement of a bug on the platform. I wasn’t exactly sure, but I think the bug was a beetle of some kind. It was a dusty black, with a big body and no easily identifiable wings. The bug labored across the platform, dodging the feet of the other passengers with an ease it didn’t look like it should have. This child and I
stared at this bug for minutes, so intent was I that I completely forgot about the stifling heat and the line of sweat streaming down my back. Finally the bug drew closer to the little girl. She reached for it, and I was really afraid she was going to put it in her mouth or something equally disgusting. Just as I was about to alert her mother of the possible danger, the train arrived, blowing the bug safely away from the little girl. Her sad eyes looked up at me and, knowing it was just the start of the pain for this child, I got on my train and rode on to work.