June 13th, 2005


Night Blooming

The jasmine hours pass. The moon abandons the sky to stars, and the scent grows heavier as darkness deepens. Sweetness permeates the shadowless world where mild air vibrates to cricket songs. Unseen insects flutter and buzz, their rapid, soft wings grazing my ears, ruffling my hair. The entire night becomes dazed with perfume. Underfoot, the plush lawn slows my footfalls and gives a faint rustle with each step. It is in the stillness under the mulberry tree that the fragrance is most dense. I linger there, and hear nearby the faint sound of moths hitting the window screen. Perhaps the jasmine has made them drunk. The hours pass, but they seem longer tonight, as though time itself were pausing to absorb the heady scent of this languid air. Only as morning light begins to obscure the stars does a breeze arise, and the leaves stir, shaking off an enchantment which has held them all the night. The sound of them is like the rustle of garments as someone departs, leaving the trail of their perfume, which slowly fades as dreams do.

Big Splash

The nephew ended up staying for a third night, which was almost long enough for the cat to become accustomed to his presence. Once, she actually poked her nose into the room in which he was staying, but then scurried off when he looked at her. He has gone now, but the cat is still skittish about that room. Sometime later tonight, I expect that she will carefully give it a thorough inspection.

It was with considerable delight that I discovered that, sometime this morning, the nephew had fixed the faucet of the bathroom sink. For months, it had been losing force, and the slow trickle it emitted was responsible for much delay. When I first used the faucet today, being accustomed to the anemic flow, I turned it on to full force and my pants and shirt were immediately drenched with the evidence of the unannounced repair. I haven't had such enjoyment from a drenching since I played with water pistols as a kid. Having an ample flow of water from that faucet will save me at least four or five minutes a day.

Today, the air was certainly less damp than the newly invigorated faucet made my pants, but there was more than a hint of humidity. For a while, I thought that the polished clouds which periodically dimmed the sunlight might presage another thunderstorm, but they have withdrawn as evening has fallen. Though sultry evening remains muggier than is normal for this place, I doubt that I will be seeing any lightning, or hearing thunder nearby. Maybe there will be that distant rumble which sometimes comes from storms in the mountains on warm nights, but the local sounds, I expect, will be only those made by the crickets and the night birds. The air is perfectly still, and already the scent of the jasmine rises to perfume another night.

Now, what to do with my extra four or five minutes?