Late summer serenade

In the morning I go outside to smell the ground because it rained in the night, the first time in months, and the rain is a novelty that won’t stay that way for long, as novelties do.

And it has grown dark in this house, pockets of dark you never knew. The dog goes back upstairs after her morning meal, back to bed. And we’ve closed the windows, brought in the patio pillows.

But across the street the neighbor is loading his car like he’s going somewhere, you can tell by his demeanor. I’d be like that too, flaunting it, if I was going somewhere.

There’s still a good helping of summer left and some like this part the best. Like picking the last bits of meat off the bone, the parts most ignore.

And I’ve laid in the sun longer than it makes sense to do just because I can, and the warmth on my skin feels good, cancer be damned.

When I’m gone they’ll put me in a box or a bag and carry me around feeling sad for a time, then relieved once they empty me over a beach or a lake and tip back a drink and remember what they can of me, the way we remember our favorite seasons or the holidays, or a car that cost too much to maintain.

And death, you are in the dark pockets of this house giving form to my emptiness. You’re hiding in the back seat of my car when I’m loading it for a weekend away. You’re the last bite I take before dropping the bone, the rain that came in the night and no one noticed.



Categories: prose, writing

Tags: ,

16 replies

  1. A figure, black cloaked with scythe over shoulder, approaches the Health and Safety Officer who looks up from his clipboard and says, ‘Careful, you’ll put someone’s eye out with that thing’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is so good, Bill. A “car that cost too much to maintain”. I keep getting my auto serviced, as you do. But I never wash it; there are cobwebs in the corners of the windows and mud on the roof rails. The small dents and dings of use accumulate until what was once shiny and sleek is tatty and worn.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A curious read … seasons of calendar and of human life …

    Re “When I’m gone” … as one in the process of placing ashes (not all at once, not all in the same place) I have no desire to complete this service to the one I know would never choose to stay bottled up, ignored on a shelf … he liked to explore, and I’m giving him a few last encounters with places he loved and would-have-loved … lingering and melding into those places; I do resonate with “remember what they can of me” … I savor the memories I do have, and it’s fascinating how things from years back keep popping up like they were yesterday …

    Wish it were late summer here … Texas won’t feel the change till late September at earliest!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gosh that’s right Jazz, let him explore some more…my good friend Brad did that with his brother when we were on the PCT together a few years ago. Be well, fall soon enough even for y’all…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Stuck the landing with that closing line, Bill.

    “You’re the last bite I take before dropping the bone, the rain that came in the night and no one noticed.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a good line Kim, stuck the landing…thank you. Sometimes I don’t publish stuff (as you can probably relate) if I’m not happy with it but when I got that line, I decided to “let it go.” Thanks for reading, happy Friday! Hope you’re well, enjoying some tastes of fall soon-ish. I’m doing some Greek thing now called Briam for the first time and man it smells good.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “There’s still a good helping of summer left” made me think of the giant slotted spoon and trying to fit my mouth around those last bits. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. An absolute kick-ass writing Bill and the words valiant gently reminder about life’s uncertainty and yet making the most of every moment. Flawless and spotless writing. Hope you are fine, bro!

    Liked by 1 person

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