The Gaseous Vertebrate by Jess Mize

Cazart! … A dreary haze of gray falls across the afternoon of the city. The branches of thick-foliaged trees come to life with the motion of the wind. The surf three-hundred miles away breaks and crashes over rocks and piers and sends banana boats swaying. Rain is in the air along with a fresh, cool breeze.

It is five o’clock in Asheville and behind me from the radio it is Steely Dan … Oh no, Guadalajara won’t do …”

In the spring and fall rain is exquisitely pleasant but in the summer it is altogether a gift from the gods. Soft drums of thunder; quick jagged bolts of lightning; incredibly white leaving the faint impression of yellow with a breeze that can give a mystic an orgasm.

Wind-blown hyacinths treat the senses to a honey-like essence. I keep expecting Peyton Loftis to come in seeking shelter from the approaching storm and leaning over my shoulder to be my muse, our cheeks imperceptibly touching. She has a bottle of La Famiglia and makes a couple of drinks, setting my glass by the typewriter. She sips hers and looks directly into my eyes with her half-closed brown eyes searching my every thought. I take a long drink from the old-fashioned glass as she walks over to the mirror and slowly undresses, admiring the curves of her body and allowing me to, as well. She flutters gracefully to again lean over my shoulder and to see what I’m cranking out this evening, and enchantingly whispers, “What’ll it be, work or play?” laughing softly like a goddess.

On waking, it was time to close and it had yet to begin raining.

Jess Mize is a blonde-haired surfer girl from South Carolina. Her favourite author is Stephen King. She loves to drink and she loves her man. Vampire Weekend three albums in stores now.