The day starts with the feeling of newness. A cool 80 degrees makes me feel like I can breathe after an afternoon that seemed to suck in the humidity. As the evening approached yesterday, the humidity increased.

And increased.

I lay on the floor, arms and legs stretched out, trying to bring the semi-coolness of the tile into my body. My head, laying on a cushion, can’t get rid of the heat fast enough, trapped as it is my mop of thick, curling hair. If I just had scissors or a razor available, I will get rid of it, I think to myself as I pray for rain to break the oppressive heat. It smells like rain, so full of hope and not enough sleepiness, I head to bed once the sun has sunk to its own place of rest and i have reread the first five chapters of a book I just finished because there is nothing else to do.

Before laying down, I think carefully of everything I need to do and I take infinite time doing each chore.

Brush teeth.
Take out contact lenses.
Reconcile receipts.
Eat a snack.
Pack for tomorrow’s trip to Tandala.
Bring my dry clothes inside.
Lock the door.
Set up the mosquito net.
Turn off the lights.
Set alarm.

I take as long as I possibly can with each task, whittling time away as the night is long. I lay down on the tiles time and time again in between things to do and I never do two things at the same time, lest I be too efficient and finish faster than I need to.

When there is absolutely nothing else to do, I climb under the mosquito net and lay, sweating, hoping the rain will come soon. I drift off and dream of goats and bees and trees and mangoes, avocados, and eggs. I dream of loved ones I miss. Then, somewhere in my subconscious, I feel it and wake up suddenly to the sound of drops. As one drop follows another, as one drop becomes millions and billions and I can not hear myself breathe, the humidity drops and all is well again.

The immense sound draws me outside, where monsoon-like rain forms puddles everywhere, soaking me in seconds. I stand there for a while, head bowed, feeling the pounding on my shoulders, on my back. It is the lightning that forces me on to the veranda, as it is so very close, followed by thunder that makes me shake. Rain water falls off me as I watch it fall outside, drenching everything it touches.

Now, this morning, the air smells like newly settled dust, turned to mud. This smell will make it into my Book of Joys today.