Brazil

A strange little vignette by Violet Beck, el Presidente

It's one of those hot days in the middle of summer when there's no school and even the people who have work stop going, or at least it seems that way. The streets are a sort of golden, arid blur of reds and oranges and blues as we move through the crowds. You know no one's home, but it seems that the malls and the streets are still half-empty.

She's walking a dog, which is really stupid because she hates dogs. In fact, it's completely absurd that she would ever be caught anywhere with a dog. Okay, so she does it for him. She's known him for a long, long time. And somehow, she doesn't mind this dog. It's a nice dog…for a dog. And its name is Jane. Which is nice. A nice, simple name.

Her shirt is sticking to the nape of my neck and chest, and she twists under the damp cotton, annoyed that it won't leave her alone. As an escape from her misery, she smirks over at the guy—he's wearing black. Bad choice, man. It's hot out. There are wet spots on the dark clothing; he's sweating like a pig.

"Where is everybody?" he asks, irritable. He's squirming, too. Too warm and his skin is sticky, like honey smeared on glass.

"Dunno."

"What do you mean, dunno?"

She shrugs. "I don't." And then, smirking once more: "Brazil, maybe?"

"Brazil?"

That was a joke, stupid. "Yeah, why not? Brazil is nice. And they're not here."

"Oh." He's noncommittal, as always. Very predictable, he is. That's why she doesn't mind him. A lot of people annoy her because she annoys them. It's all what someone's old therapist would call a vicious cycle. Or something. She doesn't like the whole psychology thing. Bunch of quacks, if you ask her.

The pair of them cross the square, jay-walking so they almost get run over twice by cars that are so hot and hazy that they look like speeding mirages. There's a fountain at the center of the square, and they stop there for a second to catch their breath there before risking their necks all over again.

"Brazil," she chuckles to herself, hoisting her butt up onto the rim of the fountain.

"What?" he says, looking over at her, surprised.

"Brazil."

"You're still on about that?"

"Oh, you were thinking about something else?"

"In fact, I was."

He is scornful. Suddenly, she doesn't like him so much. She hands him Jane's leash, and Jane wraps herself almost instantly around his legs. He swears. Loudly. A couple of people look over, annoyed. The light is green, but they can't walk.

She ignores him.

She's tired.

It's hot.

She smirks.

She plunges herself backwards into the shallow fountain without a word. She doesn't hear all the people gasp. She just ignores everything else, letting the cool wash over her face and neck and pull the nasty cotton off of her suffocated skin. It's a bath in liquid diamonds. She opens her eyes, and sees the jeweled water shimmering for about six inches above her. She knows he's probably yelling at her by now for making a scene.

But she doesn't care. She's in Brazil.