It was about time to renew summer. Traditionally, a person or a group that had the necessary power would do it. It was unclear why it was done, or who in particular was executing it (because it fluctuated so frequently), or by what mechanism, but miraculously, the job was done consistently, if not entirely predictably.
Once switched on, summer radiated in every direction, smelling like an UV-ray room used in light therapy sessions for sickly kids long time ago. The season was bright and hot, and always just a little too much. You had to squint your eyes to see, and when your eyes were closed everything jumped around electric blue and purple and white when it should have been quiet black. It wasn’t good for the skin.
What bothered some was the purpose of this all. Who were the renewers impressing? Who needed the flood of sensations long forgotten and lived better without? And really, did they for a second believed they were doing it for a greater good? All reasonable questions.
You see, normally, it’s vaguely autumn around here, with deserts as far as an eye can see, mostly barren and chilly but still with some cacti and such, and with tiny movement and little fishies in many water holes, and cockroaches and rats either outside of the water holes, or floating on the surface of said water holes.
I’m a renewer. To tell you a secret – I don’t know what I’m doing, I am only mimicking the greatest, who would Ray. He probably would advise against it, but he lived a long time ago and far away.
The way I think of it – when the summer comes, everything perks up. People are happier, whether they realize it or not, critters move around faster, scattered flowers bloom yellow and magenta, air stops hurting. The season doesn’t last long, and when it inevitably ends, everyone feels it. A punch in the guts that no one wants, no one needs, no one can avoid. It’s unstoppable. Fortunately, it’s difficult to renew summer for the same amount of time every period, and the required fuel is harder to procure than you may think. I truly believe that’s a good thing.
You see, normally, it’s vaguely autumn around here and termination of a life term, whether accidental or deliberate, while not illegal, and not frowned upon, is discouraged. Long time ago, there was a prescription issued for structured irrationality that creates at least some richness around here, and while there are some side effects, we still choose to renew it regularly.
Jenya is an engineer who likes to tinker with technology and with words. This is her seventh Vending Machine Press appearance. Her poems are available on Amazon and have also been featured in Clementine Poetry Journal, and her paper on algorithms for safe irradiation of brain tumours is available in an operations research journal somewhere.
Watch Jenya read her story at: https://poetswritersofvmp.com/2017/03/27/the-prescription-by-jenya-doudareva/