August 16th, 2002

caillebotte_man at his window

Last Evening

The evening shade pools in the yards and fields, then rises to the tops of the tallest pines. In the middle of the still-blue sky, the pale half moon floats like a weightless ghost, as the heavy red ball of the sun, softened by a purple haze that drapes the horizon, slowly sinks into someone else's day.

The grey cat who lives in one of the houses beyond my back fence comes prowling into my yard, treads past the first leaves fallen from the oak this year, passes by the oleander bushes to which only a few white flowers still cling, and sniffs around the trunk of the cherry tree. Then he spies one of my cats, who is sitting by the back door watching him. They gaze at one another for a few minutes, as the shade deepens, and the few feathers of cirrus cloud in the north briefly glow a brilliant white and then flush rose and begin to darken.

The grey looks away, pretending not to be interested in my cat, but glances at her from time to time as he slowly makes his way to the low spot of ground through which he can make his way under the fence and back to his own yard. Of course, he stops for a minute to groom himself, and cast one look back at my cat, before he finally slips under the fence.

Once he is gone, my cat, also feigning disinterest, wanders about the yard for a while, gradually approaching the spot under the cherry tree where the grey sat. When she reaches it, she sniffs it carefully. Then she yawns, and walks back toward her spot by the back door. When she is almost there, she looks up and notices me watching her through the window.

She stops short, and sits. She looks off to one side, licks one of her paws, looks back at me. I'm still there. She stands up, walks a few steps to one side, sits with one side toward me, and looks at me again. I'm still watching. She pretends to be interested in something on the ground in front of her, swiping a paw at it, but there is nothing there. She looks at me again, and, seeing me, shoots me a rather sullen glare, gets up to turn, and sits again with her back to me, switching her tail. Move along! Nothing to see here!

Heh. Cats.
caillebotte_man at his window


Haze. It imparts a golden glow to the afternoons, turns the setting sun red, and makes the moon look like a segment of a tangerine. I'm not sure where it is coming from. If it is from fires, they aren't nearby, because there is no smell of smoke. Maybe it is smog creeping in. Maybe the Gobi Desert is blowing away. I have no idea. All I know is that I miss the blue afternoons normal to this time of year, and the smoglike quality of the air is making me nostalgic for Los Angeles once again. If I can't have blue afternoons, I want Pasadena.

In the orchard, the apples are getting large, but are still green. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, there are apple trees in some yards, and a few surviving trees from abandoned orchards which are now mostly meadow. The apples on all these other trees are beginning to show red. But the apples in the orchard remain green. It has me wondering if the owners of the orchard aren't using one of those chemicals that retards the ripening process, so that all the apples can turn red and be harvested at one time. It is one of those clever agribusiness tricks that keep supermarket produce easier to distribute and relatively cheap, at the expense of flavor, texture, scent, and food value.

But I rant. I'd rather listen to the cricket who has begun chirping in the bushes outside my window. It is an unusually high-pitched chirp. It must be a young cricket, not yet large enough to make a full-sized sound. It is a pleasant distraction on this sultry evening. I'll turn Sluggo off and listen for a while.

My mouse was sticking badly, so I cleaned its innards out, and now it's all flollipy, like your arm after you bump your crazy bone. Stupid mouse.