Tuesday night....put out the garbage, lest the "garbage guys" come too early in the morning and I have to save it for yet another week.
I step outside and it's balmy. Cool enough to open windows and let the air conditioner take the night off for a change. I love balmy....'tis perhaps my favorite of all weather scenarios.
At the end of the drive, I'm transported in an instant; back in time nearly 30 years to a winter I spent in Florida, before I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, and after I wrongly thought I was grown up...
I'm sitting in the balmy air, the rustle of the lone scrubby palm tree, the only sound. I'm beside my bicycle, my only mode of transport to anywhere, but nowhere really. I bought it used at the local hardware for $75 dollars.
I have no chair, no blanket. I'm just sitting at the end of the cement driveway, still warm from the day's sun. I have no companion, just a paper bag with a few bottles of beer I bought at the local 7-11, along with some cigarettes. I'm lonely but too young to realize it.
I like the night air, the breeze, the rustle. I am almost chilly, but not. I draw on my cigarette and chase it with beer. I don't really want either one. It's just something to do. The smoke flies away on the balmy breeze.
Because it is balmy the windows of the house are open. I could be inside, but I prefer my solitude at the end of the drive with my beer and cigarettes, to what I try not to hear in the living room.
They're fighting again. Taunting, bantering, scoffing, mumbling, irritating, picking at, needling, annoying one another. Back and forth; escalation then silence, yelling and stuttering, gibberish and pointed. It is unpleasant for me. I dream of being far away.
I'm ignoring it all surrounded by my beer, my bicycle, my cigarettes, my paper bag and my balmy breeze. I mentally cover my ears and think "I can't hear you, I can't hear you, I can't hear you", but I can.
After a time she goes to bed. They've tired of fighting, talking nonsense, ridiculing one another. Is this love? I don't understand.
I wish it were safe to go inside....the air has chilled me after a long hot day and a few cold beers. I'm tired. I'm lonely. The night sounds are unfamiliar and unsettling. But he is there still, and he bothers me. I don't want my lonliness to strenghthen him or weaken me. He should know better, but he'll try anyway. This is not love, I don't understand....
The garabage is out, the garage door is down, the dog and cat are settled for the evening and I have had a long day. Amazing how a slight breeze can trigger a memory in an instant...a more bitter than sweet memory that just won't disappear.