No Reply No Reply

June 13, 2018

23. Day’s End

Who am I? Dirty dishes are left in the sink and on the table. I’ll get to them.For now I step outside for a walk. Just around the block. Where am I going? The sun is beautiful at this hour, fiery orange sky with clouds ablaze. Everything glows. There is a slight chill and I realize this is my perfect temperature.

I take a right outside my front door. Jerry, my neighbor, has his television on—always on—beaming blue through every window and seeming alien and extraterrestrial at night. His front garden is coming along nicely. Next to his house the roses are in full bloom at the older couples’ home. Red, white, pink, orange: their roses are enormous and gorgeous.

Another house down is a duplex. One tenant is always under a pitched car, changing tires, making improvements, and whatever else one does that’s renovating an old muscle car. He wears only black and overdresses: heavy cargo pants, loose-fitting hoodie, combat boots. He sounds intimidating but he’s friendly and smiles. I wonder if he has a job. He’s not out here now. I walk on.

Further down is a nondescript house with a driveway and a gravel yard. There are two identical cars parked there always. Both a perfect black Saab sedan. The biggest difference between the two is the license plate and one was recently washed (making the other seem dirtier than it actually is). I’ve only ever seen one lady seem to live in the house. Perhaps she simply alternates identical Saabs based on her mood or day of the week.

An old pickup truck sits derelict in another driveway. It used to be painted white. Now it has a mint colored door and it’s all mostly just rusty. This is the last house before the stop sign. I turn right.

Here, along the side of another house is a log and narrow garden. It only shows how little I can identity vegetables that aren’t fully grown. I think three generations live in that house. I’ve seen a little boy run around and inside and the gardener must be his grandfather, carefully tending the tiny land.

It’s not much farther to another stop sign and another right turn. This marks the beginning of the local park: baseball field, basketball courts, a playground, and a little preschool. The light around this park is beautiful. There is a very Western sky that blankets this park. We are near a small airport and recreational propeller planes are constantly overhead. One flies over, its flimsy wings wave a little and it takes a hard turn and carries onward. No one is at the park. I realize I haven’t actually aseen anyone on this walk.

Down the sidewalk I can see a lady emptying her garage onto the sidewalk. As I approach she is inside the cavern of her dark and empty garage but the sidewalk is filled with junk and dusty paraphernalia of a past life. I continue walking. There is less to see on this block. Another plane flies over.

At the next right turn, a yard is filled with junk. A tire swing in the front yard, bird feeders on every other branch of trees, a muffler in the driveway, a garage overflowing with unidentifiable objects, and a pig—a real pig—on a leash and tied to a post on the front porch—a pet pig. Just off the driveway is a little free library containing mostly VHS tapes. I can’t take in everything about this house or I end up staring and gawking.There is little more to see on this block. Another and final right turn, back onto my street. A house that was falling apart has been remodeled and flipped. I take a brazen moment to walk up the sidewalk to the front door and peer into the window. It’s decorated for showing and looks amazing. What a stark contrast to the rest of the houses and homes in the area.

I walk further down and see my house. My walk is over. Who am I? Where am I going? The sun sets.