Losing an hour, gaining a moment

Looking out over my deck, the lights of the business district in relief.

If there are no sirens—which seemed to have come together in a brief cacophonous chorus fifteen minutes ago and then retarded to silent—there are dogs. All around. They don’t know when to be silent. They may know how. But not when.

Here on my deck, I hold the iPhone screen up to the surface of my green tea to see if any bugs have landed in it since my last sip. (Yes, I’m a bit twee. Or maybe I just wanted to use that word. Twee. It was Karen who stumbled on it, as I recall.) None have. Especially those giant, if harmless, “mosquitos” here. As soon as those creatures get inside, they seem to skirt the doorframe looking to get back out. (I Google them before I publish this, and I learn they are crane flies, which do not bite people or animals and only eat nectar. Stupid, though. There is no nectar in my living room.)

The sounds of motorcycles revving and the exhausts of super-duty trucks carry clearly across the rapidly cooling air—it saw 90° today—the stuff of Manhattan’s West Side Highway if I’d been listening closely enough. Except I’d be hard pressed to, with Broadway so close. There, even on the residential Upper West Side, the sounds and bodies fly by with such dizzying speed and meld together that edges blur and even evaporate, as identities often do. Here, you can almost imagine the individual stories carrying with the sounds. The motorcycle revving next to a rival. The shiny white pickup heading west on Sidney Baker, maybe turning north, destination Whataburger down a ways on Junction. Or to Walmart. That’s a possibility. It’s open 24/7.

You always know where to find the men on Christmas Eve, or February 13, nigh midnight.


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