The air feels like it crawls, that's what it does when Summer and Fall wrestle for the right to rule the climate.
Fall inevitably wins every time, but Summer puts up the noblest of fights. By the time mid-September arrives in the northern Midwest, the atmospheric see-saw battle between 85-degree days under an oppressive, yet receding sun and the first signs of a foreshadowing chill on the tip of nighttime's cool tongue.
The heat, though, gets to you more than the signaling chill. It makes you restless, weighs on you, dares you to linger, to stay in bed longer because your body still burns with heat of the previous day that wouldn't let you truly rest, truly refresh.
You've been counting the vacation days, the vacation hours, the vacation seconds you have left to use before your anniversary rolls over and you have to ration it all over again like it were fresh water, clutched in the shaken hands of a survivor of some harrowing natural disaster.
Soon, you'll be remanded to the indoors, huddling for warmth, doing all you can to resist the urge to triple your electric bills by bathing yourself in a false, temporary man-made heat. You'll cling to your desk to avoid relatives and familial gatherings that you've done for decades and have grown stale.
But right now you want to break free.
And then you see it. A large, dark-complected man, bathing in the heat of Summer's final thrust. Defying the convention of the office, the desk, the cubicle, the stuffing air conditioning that maintenance men shut down just a little too early, like every year. He's not alone though. No, he is accompanied by a slight, small fair-complected woman. Both, free to live their lives under the sun with no restraints. The sun glistens off the shoulders of the gentleman as he strolls across the highest point of the municipal parking ramp, right arm draped around his smaller companion. There is no rush to their gait, they are in the moment, free to tarry as the final bit of heat has beckoned them.
Their freedom is magnified in your eyes. Not because of your stuffy, archaic, outdated, irrelevant dress code pushing you into cheap, ill-fitted clothing, but because they are strolling in the open on a wide-open top level of a public parking ramp in the heart of downtown, only two cars on the entire level.
As they stroll past one of the two cars, owned by one of your co-workers who is frantically performing a dozen tasks simultaneously, unaware of the defiant couple currently inspiring your imagination, they turn toward the edge of the ramp. Slowly, they approach the edge. Your heart is full.
You feel like you've reached your edge. You worked through Labor Day, you feel underpaid. You're no closer to your first mortgage than you were five years ago. Your student loans will outlive you. But for the two beacons of hope and freedom standing near the edge, you believe. You believe in what they are in that moment. Two beings in harmony, embracing Summer, the sun, the heat, the freedom of being unencumbered.
As the couple embraces, you too, feel embraced. This is the life you were meant for. You belong on that ramp, right next to them, a part of their embrace. The man turns toward the edge again. Your heart rises once more, the woman disappears. You rub your eyes as the man leans against the ledge, peering out across the point where the rivers merge and the future is being constructed. The woman sucks on his penis.
After a few moments, you realize what you are watching and you can sense the rush, the exhilaration of the frenzied and impassioned lovers, so caught up in the thrall of the dying heat in Summer's battle that they are overcome with passion. The woman reappears.
As she spins around, the man's muscular shoulders tighten. They're both facing the same way, toward the river, toward the future. In that moment, they both live free, subject to the power of the hot sun, exhilarated by the impending future that sprawls out in front of them. The man thrusts into the woman again and again.
The moment, like a season and the heat of a northern Midwestern summer, passes quickly only to lead into the next moment. The couple stagger on, feeling the effects of their passion and the beating down of the suns golden rays. The man pulls out a white towel that had been hanging from the back pocket of his sagging blue jeans and dabs the sweat from his forehead. His palms must also be drenched in sweat, he has experienced the most freedom that a modern society can afford. He has cum.
As they exit the ramp, your attention is called back to your desk, where you've spent the last three federal holidays, every Saturday, and weekday evenings. You have seven new emails to respond to. Your heart races as your mind recalls the garage sex freedom of the couple who likely just wandered into the nearest bar.
by Daniel Coughlin