Fluff and dents

By Ry Hills | Apr 07, 2010
Ry Hills

I awoke with a start at the growing storm assaulting my body. Throwing off the covers and lying very still, I lengthened my breathing in a futile attempt to ward off the heat of the oncoming storm. I tried to remember some sort of dream that may have woken me up, but could never remember any dreams anymore. I figured I ought to be having wild or provocative ones to warrant such sudden roustings.

With the rising heat I realized that my deep breathing wasn't having the desired effect so I tossed my legs over the side of the bed and pushed myself up to a sitting position. Tom stirred, by now used to being woken by the thrice nightly jerky movements from his once placid wife. In fact, he knew that a night consisting of only three bouts of lurching was deemed pretty good.

I sat for a few moments leaning slightly forward as my hands gripped the side of the bed. The storm rose, emanating out from its central point of power, and began to release its energy from every pore of my body. I shoved myself up to my feet. A quick glance at the clock put the time at 2:43 a.m. though I had already known what the time would be. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how my body knew to do this at the same exact time every night. Great, I thought, still just standing there. It's as middle-of-the-night as it was at last night's middle-of-the-night.

I stepped into the blessedly chilly breeze that was blowing in the window, committing myself to being awake. Any chance of lying back down in bed was blown away with the breeze. The cold air shifted my awareness to my naked body. It suddenly occurred to me that there might be wild creatures outside, and that they might have really good night vision, and that they might be watching me standing there. I wondered if they could see the drips of sweat running down my wickedly foxy 54-year-old cleavage.

"Ha. What a thought," I muttered into the darkness.

The comical vision of wild things snickering outside my window brought my hand to my belly. I didn't like the softness that was creeping into that spot as the years snuck by. I had always relished my ability to stay strong in my torso. It was the part of my body that I actually liked; at least until the dreaded metamorphosis had started a few years back.

My other hand went instinctively to the back of my thigh and the fluff that had settled there ages ago. I thought of my friend Connie who had coined the term "fluff" in honor of the kindergarten student who liked to poke at Connie's eye-level thigh and proclaim her young approval for the fluff she found there. I moved my hand across my own fluff ... the fluff that now had dents in it. That one was Jen's term, and it made me smile. Jen wouldn't wear a bathing suit bottom or short shorts anymore because of all the "dents" in her legs. It was comforting to know that other athletic women had "dents" in their legs too.

I walked slowly around the end of the bed, my hands pressing solidly against the fluff and the dents. The multitude of staring creatures outside the window hadn't made a sound. Maybe I scared them all away, I thought. The heat of the storm was all gone and all that remained were the beads of sweat pooling their resources and launching an assault on my now chilled body. I brought my arms up into a hug in a futile attempt to capture some warmth.

The unfair irony of this sweat/freeze cycle reminded me of global warming and fossil fuels. Someday the world population would adorn sainthood on the brilliant female scientist who figured out how to harness the heat of hot flashes. Walking on past Tom's side of the bed I could hear his steady sleep-breaths. They used to be a comforting sound, but in my current soggy state, it took some effort to ward off jealousy.

Ignoring my dreaming husband who would, as usual, remember all his dreams, and paying no attention to the gazillions of eyes outside my window, I opened the bathroom door, reached for a towel, and wrapped myself in its dry sanctuary. I mopped myself up, being ever-so-careful with all the fluff and dents. They were, after all, the only ones I had.



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