I spent most of yesterday resting, sitting in my apartment, in the dark, in the heat, trying to do as little as possible. I was going to a somewhat hardcore show that night and knew I would be out late and wanted to have all the energy possible to enjoy myself. Yesterday just seemed like a day where nothing was going to happen so why try. Nothing seemed more appealing than just sitting still for a few hours trying to think as little as possible. The world outside felt like an electric fence in the noonday sun, like street lights left on during the day by mistake, some overextension of electrical output that only made you aware of how hot everything really was.

I had received 3 phone messages from the same person at 1am the night before, all within a few minutes of each other. He must have really had something he wanted to say, but I did not hear the phone ring. I think that could almost be a metaphor for our entire relationship up to this point. So, yesterday, I tried to catch him on the phone to find out what it was he wanted. It kind of annoyed me that he only thinks to call when every other normal person in the world would be asleep, that he couldn't have better timing.

I waited for the night to come, for time to get closer to the time when I would be getting ready for the concert. My friend Sandi wanted to see me get "girly", to dress up, and I was trying to put something together. Dressing up for a night out involves slow movement. Take a bath, lay out the clothes, apply makeup, do the hair, all the while trying not to break out into a sweat every time I move outside of the reach of my pitiful air conditioner. I am a victim of poor white heat and due to such, I accidentally left my makeup in my oven of a kitchen and it had all melted. I seldom even wear makeup, so this obviously pissed me off.

I waited for Sandi and her husband to pick me up. She screeched that I indeed looked like a girl, that I had accomplished the desired effect. We rode out to the House of Blues in the French Quarter and promptly found out that the band we had come to see had cancelled at the last minute. They stayed to get their refund, I walked through the Quarter and back to my house by myself. There were bundles of people in thick packs mingling around, trying to figure out where they wanted to go. I forgot that I was wearing tight things and short things until I began to feel people's eyes on me. Out of the corner of my eye I could see their heads following me as I passed.

Across the low level sky, flashes of heat lightning flickered like a cheap lamp on the fritz. Behind it were these sickly purple clouds like great tumors swollen but not with rain, not yet. We would not get rain tonight, I thought. Maybe tomorrow.

When I got home, I peeled off the wasted outfit and sat in front of my fan again. I called him and he was home. He couldn't tell with clarity now why he had called then because so much had happened in between. I should have known better. I should have just waited for him to come to me again. He didn't like the phrase backing off but preferred slowing down. When I hung up the phone and stretched out across my bed, staring at the bathroom light framed in green, I felt the swells of heat lightning running through my own body, that frustration and electricity that had nowhere to go at that moment, so it just bounced around. Maybe tomorrow.

When I was younger, I used to ask by parents and grandparents about the strange lighting that flashed about on hot summer nights. "Why is there no thunder?" I'd ask. This is the answer I always got, "it's heat lightning. It is too hot and lighting is created from the heat, that is why you can't hear the thunder."

Over twelve years later I found out the truth behind heat lightning in my meteorology class.

There is no such thing as heat lightning. Heat lighting is actually normal lightning from a nocturnal storm that is so far away, one cannot hear the thunder.

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