Disconnected is a column published bi-weekly by Rob George. Disconnected is a collection of semi stream-of-consciousness poems usually generated from one compelling thought. The rest of the poem is written around this thought, at an attempt to be both surprising but concrete.
By Rob George
Early July, after the holiday. My shirt is green and it matches my hat, and both smell salty and of gasoline because I am sweating through my clothes and in a tightly packed caravan of sleek, modern-looking residential automobiles. We are waiting for one thing. That which our heart desires most: a cotton swab in our nasal cavity.
The real inspiration for this story is the sweat. The compressor in the air-conditioner in my old car is broken. The sweat comes fast, and the sweat sticks. The sweat acts like water, but it is salty. There are small salt-water fishes in my pores, and they come out and entangle themselves in the fabric of my shirt, which is green and it matches my hat, where the fishes are also entangled.
The fishes are hot, too. They urge me to roll my windows up, to blow the air which is like wind uncooled by itself; blowing hot.
I wait for two hours inching forward in the long line of tightly packed modern-looking residential automobiles. I wonder: on this Early July monday morning, have all these people been recently laid off? They are not at work. They are possibly exposed. The sun provides exposure too.
My skin does not burn due to the refraction of the UV rays off the beads of sweat and the little salt-water fishes in my pores. These fishes are different colors, all bright. I am thankful for this as they do not retain as much heat as would black-colored fishes, which only clog my pores at campfires and after not showering for a few days.
Summer is hot but this year is not free, even more not free than last year.
When I swim in a freshwater lake after playing volleyball I kill all the little salt-water fishes in my pores. The deaths of many for the comfort of one.
My shirt is green but it’s growing darker with sweat. My hat is also green but it’s growing lighter, bleached by the sun.
Me and those in my caravan of automobiles, we are here for the same thing. The only difference between us is my roommate has the virus and I do not have air-conditioning.