Musings from the Front Porch


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A light fog seems to grip the air. Makes all the surfaces feel damp. The air itself not unsavory but with a definite hint of weight to it not at all like you feel in more arid climes. The effect is slight as you look around, creating a haze that feels like you have no glasses on (of course if you wear glasses this makes much more sense, if not, simply imagine the world as cloudy as after having opened your eyes too long underwater in a chlorinated pool without goggles). The bushes, if they could be considered worthy of such an appellation, sit contented and squat. Unmoving and separate, all five of them range across the front of their house, their leaves with traces of the rain that recently graced the land. The lawn is a quilt made of patches of green, emerald, and yellow, resulting in some awkward patterns. It is unclear in most cases where one patch ends and the next begins. You can hear the train as well as the cars zipping along the busy way as they spend mile after mile of their lives at a breakneck pace. You feel bad for them. Not terrible bone aching remorse for them but a twinge of pity that as you are a witness to such a serene scene as this, others take no thought to notice. Not many others seem to have noticed it. But you did. You see the neighbors. They aren’t looking up into the sky where the contrasts and colors are so unexpected and unabashed. Like in the lawn, you can’t tell where one patch of clouds ends and where the blue of the ozone begins to take over.

Just then new rhythms interrupt your musings. Not in a rude manner, no louder than is warranted but slightly jarring in your current mood. You see the woman from whom the sound emanates. She continues, crosses the road, and releases the sleek brown canine from his place at her side. They cross the street entirely oblivious to the fact that because of the time that they chose to walk, they were serendipitously included in your musings. They’re gone now.

The fog is more present. Denser as it covers the well of a drainage area for the neighborhood. The swings from the playground begin to fade from your view and will soon be shrouded entirely. Buried by the insidious fog. Your park is being suffocated by vaporous tentacles. The blue and pink and grey of the clouds set ablaze by the sun, burning with fervent quiet heat, a melancholy pyre for the playground being stifled in mist. You look back down as the vapor lifts from the field, nothing now. Its menacing call to the beyond not nearly so palpable as before. The mist is unfamiliar to you. You can’t see it when enshrouded, in the depths. So you have no real memory of seeing it from the inside.

Your feet stick lightly to the slate gray concrete and you know that it is just about the time you should go in but you don’t want to. This nighttime ritual uninterrupted because instead of chilled, you feel comfortable and warm. The evening chill that you fought against a few months ago is gone, replaced by mild coolness.

The air conditioning unit then grinds on and you wonder about your spot. Maybe next time the homemade chair on the front porch could be replaced by a nice tree stump in the woods to fuel your musings. But that requires much more effort. So you sit. Content to hear only half masked calls and whistles and chirrups of the birds. Then the fog is back, along with the musical girl and her dog. There you sit.
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