Witness statement from Udhayasûriyan Kurmagati, age 47

By the time you notice it, it’s already been there a while. A weight added onto each thing. The fatigue of the legs, the irritation around the neck. And the lightest of sleep. I had to pant while opening a window to suspect it. And to admit it, I had to suffer a startling sweat while standing in line at a peddler’s handcart.

I step out of the line, careful not to brush up against anything, to keep my shirt or pants from coming into further contact with my drenched skin. I can feel fat, warm drops rolling down my temples and neck. A repugnant stream starts to flow down my spine. Symmetrically, sweat runs down to my belly button. I’m even sweating from the crown of my head. Its ridge marks out my watershed....

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