June 15th, 2007



We finally had to resort to air conditioning today, but only for a couple of hours and only after peak afternoon usage had ended. The evening is cooling decently and I have silenced the machine and opened all the windows. The fragrance of jasmine and gardenia wafts in, rendering the lingering heat less onerous for evoking tropical gardens and the slither of cool silk on reclining flesh. Iced tea assists. I also have a watermelon (the first of the year) cooling in the refrigerator. Come midnight or so, its juicy chill will assuage any sultriness which the house might retain.

This afternoon there was a brief period of anxiety provoked by a sudden wind. In many places an afternoon wind on a hot day would be welcome, but this particular place is located in the midst of a giant tinderbox. The combination of heat, a hugely combustible landscape, and sudden wind is conducive not to relief but to an anxious watchfulness. For half an hour we frequently scanned the sky, but no plumes of smoke appeared, and the wind eventually died down. The town has survived another day.

This evening I saw—heard first,then saw—a large moth which had trapped itself in a skylight. Not much of a trap, as the skylight is one of the two in the porch roof and, the porch being open to the world on three sides, the creature had only to fly downward and then to the side a few feet to escape. But moths are thick-witted lepidopts, and the silly bugger persistently flapped and fluttered, expecting to reach the bright evening sky and freedom by passing through a bubble of solid Plexiglas. It reminded me how I do hope we're not being watched by some species far more advanced than ourselves.