January 15th, 2006



Night becomes ice as the clouds vanish, and cold drops of clinging water catch the exposed moon's light, making lawns and bushes and the houses' eaves glitter as though a galaxy of miniature stars had fallen. The driveway, still wet, is utterly black, absorbing the light as it has absorbed the rainwater. The metal lamppost is rimed, as is the top of the mailbox. My illuminated breath's fog hovers amid clarity. I hear a flock of waterfowl flying, but not even the full moon can reveal them to my eye. I listen to their calls echo and fade, swallowed by that vastness the dark trees only partly conceal. The orchard is flat, and even the tall pines appear to shrink from that immense emptiness in which the moon rides all but alone.

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Clouds returned to the western sky in time to provide a pleasant sunset, though its color scheme of peach and plum was unseasonable, and made me crave fresh fruit. Then I watched the oblique rays of the rising moon illuminate the treetops and then the faces of the houses across the street. Softened by a slight haze, the light intensified the (also unseasonable) lassitude I've lately felt. Why this lack of energy when the air is so fresh and crisp?

I woke with fragments of a dream in my head. I was in an altered place I recognized as being based on Pasadena. Someone I haven't seen in decades was with me. We were walking west, to a place my dream-self said was only a couple of blocks, though my watching-self thought about it and realized the walk would be more than a mile. I spoke with my unexpected companion, but don't remember what was said. As we proceeded, the surroundings took on a vaguely threatening air. The place had fallen into decay. Though the sidewalk was not busy, we found ourselves crowding against two other pedestrians we followed.

My dream-self grew more anxious, and kept looking ahead, trying to see the desired destination, picturing how it would look (which was as I remember it having looked twenty years ago.) My companion, who at the beginning of the dream had also looked very much as I remember him, became taller and his clothing kept changing. In the last scene before I woke, he was at least six inches taller than me, and he was wearing one of those 1920's era workman's caps, and he was glaring at the two men walking in front of us. My dream-self had the feeling of having mistaken his identity. My watching-self, despite the evidence, was sure that I had not. We never did reach our destination. The dream left a residue of sadness and a sense of unease. Maybe I'm coming down with something.