Tuesday, May 03, 2011
A Spring Day on the Circle
The spring day felt like summer. Warm Santa Ana winds came rolling in…playful but insistent…off the desert and any lingering clouds fled out to the Pacific. Under powder blue skies heat spread…insistent but no oppressive…over the city…over the neighborhood…over the Circle.
D, across the street, was the first to leave for the day as usual. A soft roar into the waning darkness of the morning, taking the red SUV instead of the powerful white truck he most often favors.
Shy, enigmatic C was next, waving as she passed, her headlights illuminating me fleetingly as I paced the Circle, tea in hand.
And then the Marine on the corner, coughing and smoking…smoking and coughing…as his truck warmed up for the short jaunt off the mesa down to the sprawling base.
The sun was rising and the birds were awake and already happily gossiping. The winds were already gathering and the trees were dancing, their spring foliage singing songs to the new day and to the grace of the infinite.
The Earth turned and met the sun. I dressed appropriately for the weather…baggy blue shorts, muted red shirt…and proceeded with my previously planned chore of finishing the spring cleaning of the garage while the morning was still relatively cool. The screened doors and windows open to the gathering, warming breezes, music…Van Morrison, Ray Charles…spread from my stereo in the family room and out through the house and into the garage, and into the street.
A, across the street, climbed into the family’s white SUV, the warm breeze carrying a whiff…vague but insistent…of cigarette smoke around the Circle before taking it off towards the sea…and slipped off into the day. It occurs to me that I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen A smile.
L, two doors down, leaves next, her red hair shimmering in the morning sun, while her husband J sets to work in their garage before the day becomes too oppressive for such endeavors.
The reclusive young couple who live in what old-timers on the Circle still call “George and Ginger’s house” go their ways…he in his jeep, she, with the toddler she gave birth to not too long after they moved onto the block, in her gleaming black SUV.
P…fair skinned, porcelain, warily affable…comes over to retrieve the mail she had asked me to collect while she and her older daughter were off spending a few days in Idaho with her younger daughter and the grandchildren. We made small talk about the weather and she, having taken a day off after her trip, went to tend to her plants and flowers and I went back to work in my garage.
I filled the trash and recycling bins and rolled them out to the street for pickup the next day; I rolled C’s bins out to the street because I do that every week as well. The garage as done as it was going to be, I closed it up and went to finish an assignment on the computer. The day was getting warmer and the cats had already staked out territory under ceiling fans of their choosing.
Noontime under the big tree in the front yard, the Santa Ana winds (yeah, that Steely Dan song kept playing in my head and I'm looking over my shoulder for Babylon sisters to be shaking it) really kicking up an impish ruckus, the warmth continued to rise, and the day on the Circle continued to slow down.
Mid-afternoon, D, early to work, early home, is riding around the Circle on a bike he apparently rediscovered in his garage. The lithe D, who walks in both boyish whimsy and…vague but insistent…melancholy, goes shirtless whenever he can and as he delights in making circles on the Circle, his little gold nipple ring glints in the sun every once in a while casting tiny sparks of light here and there.
Someone visits J, the wind carrying the pungent aroma of his cigar around the Circle.
Early evening, the air is still thick and sweaty, doors and windows are still open all around the Circle, soft music (from my house) is gliding on top of the heated air as our part of the world started to slowly move away the mother sun. I spend sundown in the yard…on my bench…luxuriating in the gathering coolness.
The spring day…the spring evening…felt like summer. And, they tell me, this “summer” wasn’t ending just yet.