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from Listen

Mars mentions casually that the sharks follow the shrimp boats that are the only things moving on the water so early on a Sunday morning, and I decide it's a good time to stretch out on the sand and try to get some rest. God knows there won't be any rest in Savannah for the next couple of days....We find a stream and use an old milk carton found in the brush behind the dunes to rinse off the salt, we get semi-dressed and lay back on the sand. I still feel the chill of the ocean, but the sun begins to break through the morning cloud and warms my face. My skin under the damp clothes stays cold. Warm and cold. Warm and cold remembering....the young couple lies warm in the ancient apartment house livingroom Murphy bed, post-coital tender glow, soft whispers gentle love talk, barely talk at all, the warm yellow glow like you can feel when you're young. A knock on the door, ignored, followed by the door opening against the chain, a drunken hooting they recognise, one of his friends who's always lonely, born lonely and now drunk insinuating sneering, now he wants to ruin it for them he's so lonely, nobody to keep him warm. He puts his face to the crack: "What's going on in there?" The boy is pissed, he jumps out of bed and pulls on his jockey shorts (why? she wonders) he kicks the door shut in his friend's face almost de-nosing him but instead of locking it as she expects, he opens the door and leaps on his friend, he drags him to the stairs but leaves the door open and she can hear everything even as she tries to hide under the sheets, she hears the visitor being taken down two flights of stairs and pushed out the front door. She feels the warmth of the bed where he was lying, she visualises the cold bare legs cutting across the lobby, thinks of the unreal warmth a hand discovers in its first penetration to touch the inside of a thigh, cold hard tile floor, cold bare legs, she can smell some indefinite scent of him on the pillow still warm, she can feel the cold souls of the old ladies of the landing who are probably watching the whole thing, already on the phone to the landlord, she hears the front doors whooshing open then shut and thinks: Now he's standing in the lobby in his underwear. Poor gooseflesh skin, she can almost feel the lumps like the cold bumpy plaster walls. The love is oozing out of her, oozing out on her thigh, she feels it but it isn't cold and it isn't warm, it's just there. By the time he gets back up the stairs he's shivering and longing to dive back into the bed and warm himself against her body, but when he turns from locking the door he sees she's got her shirt on and she's pulling up her jeans, she looks guilty sort of and she doesn't look at him but she looks at nothing and says: I was getting cold. She doesn't know why she says it, she doesn't really understand that what she means is: I was afraid somebody would catch me loving.

Hot and cold memories, that's me.