It was the driest day in Tuscon this summer. Jeanne-Marie slides open her screen door, tests the patio cement with her bare foot to see if it is too hot, and makes her way out into her yard encircling the adobe house. She lays out a blanket she once bought from a man claiming to be a shaman. Lying down, she imagines herself as a lizard sprawling out across a flat, smooth rock baking in the sun. She becomes the sky and watches herself from above. She blends in with the blanket. Her shoulders slowly bronzing, she becomes the wind that travels into her open mouth. She nestles in the back of her throat, and can feel the pulse of her heart from here. A fly buzzes by her ear and lands on her face, and suddenly she is jerked awake.
She opens her eyes and squints to follow the bug fly towards her garden. She follows it, curiously, and thinks to herself that it may be a good idea to check on her plants. She discovers a curious weed growing near her tomato plant. She sniffs, licks and chews the tip of one of the leaves – to her extensive knowledge of typical Arizona weeds, it’s unrecognizable . Shortly after she returns to her blanket. Staring across her backyard, the air slowly becomes heavy- the horizon hazy. The humidity collects on her skin. She peers down at her hand and wipes off a few droplets. A breeze gives her neck a strange sense of wetness as she feels her cheeks flush. She lays down and drifts off into a dimly-lit dream: she sees her parents. Her father smells of car oil and her mother of basil.
- Character study, Danielle Campbell 2013