The heat in the room grew warmer as the minutes passed, no one anticipated this kind of day, and by the looks of it, no one had dressed for it.
Around the room booths were set up representing community organizations, non-profit agencies, and government members that would be answering the questions of the target clients.
Sweat pooled around my hair line.
There would be no air conditioning and the only fan hummed loudly near the back door of the large auditorium that we had been placed in. The process to enter had been strict, due to the type of clientelle that we work with, and thus, the process to leave would be as well.
Taking in the room from the back, where I sat behind a large table with information neatly piled in front of me, I took large welcome gulps of water from my bottle.
I wished I had worn lighter pants.
As the gym filled and people began to fill the space that had previously been our only cool air I could feel my clothes stick to my skin; ignoring the waves of heat bearing down on me I attempted to focus on my audience.
The task at hand.
Their questions held my attention and I didn’t notice that I had melted into the chair until my belongings were packed up and I was ready to leave. The large room, now noticeably hotter, had emptied its sea of sweaty bodies and all that remained was the inhabitants behind the tables manning their booths.
Making my way to the large looming doors I was eager to escape; to go through the necessary proceedures and get into the fresh air. I longed to swallow cool air and let the wind blow through my sweaty hair.
Brief cases, poster boards, and sticky bodies met each other as we waited for the signal to leave but it didn’t come. We looked around confused after a few minutes hoping to escape the oven and sure that the heat was rising.
Was it too hot to talk?
And then the door opened, flooding the room with cool air and a sweet freshness. A woman, dressed in orange and wearing a badge of authority announced that we would be remaining in the auditorium.
For an extended length of time.
And she shut the door.
The heat billowed over me as I sunk down in a chair close by.
And surrendered to the fiery prison.