The summer fizzled out to cool evenings and chilly mornings. Jeans, long pants and turtlenecks emerged from the closet. The cool, cotton sheets that relieved hot skin on humid nights were now icy, giving me a slight chill every time I crawled into bed. One frosty night, I crawled between cold sheets and scrunched myself into a tight ball in an effort to contain the heat. My joints resented the change and burned with anger; I woke in the night to pain and cold. I looked up at the shadow of the old lady and saw a blue, fuzzy blanket draped over her shoulders. A small white cord with a control pad and buttons dangled from the bottom. I laid it over my crisp sheets, running my fingertips over the luscious soft surface, and plugged it into the power bar beside my bed. Within minutes, a gentle heat began to emanate from beneath the thick fabric; my tight muscles eased into the soothing warmth. I wrapped it around me like a caterpillar enfolding in its winter cocoon. The heat kissed my sore, stiff joints and I melted away into a daydream, the hot sun on my face, soft white sand beneath my feet. I drifted off to sleep in snug comfort while the wind howled outside the window powerless to touch me with its glacial breath.
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.