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Invisibility of Steam
Water sizzled on the hot rock. A second ladleful was poured. The resulting steam flooded the sauna. It stung Thierry’s eyes. The sand-glass timer was reset, and he laid a white towel on the top seat. The initial steam shock tingled. He breathed shallowly, allowing his lungs to acclimate.
Mireille had left for her room at midnight. The remainder of night hadn’t passed soundly. Something was being discussed in the subconscious; knowledge of what, was not trusted to his waking mind. This had happened several times: just after dozing off he would awaken with the realization that an engaged conversation had been going on within himself. It was becoming annoying. The last time, he decided to punish the subconscious by remaining awake. Heeding Mireille’s advice, he grabbed a towel and headed down to the spa’s sauna room—which is where he presently was.
Relaxing on the towel, heat began the journey into his core. A reposeful sauna posture had been assumed. No chatty internal dialog intruded. Time stilled to the ticking of the stones shedding their heat.
There was a muffled sound. He opened his eyes, confused at first because he didn’t remember closing them. A nude woman entered the room. Looking down, she didn’t see him on the top bench. The steam smarted his eyes, obscuring her form. When he acknowledged her, she had seen him as well.
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