June 5th, 2016

caillebotte_man at his window

Drift

The air has been still all day, but a breeze has now arrived to help cool the torrid evening. The breeze is carrying the scent of my jasmine hedge out into the neighborhood. I imagine the fragrance drifting here and there, a faint trace of it catching the attention of some passerby who perhaps wonders where it comes from. The passerby has no notion of the cricket chirping somewhere in the weeds near it, or of the feral cat who uses it as a safe place when frightened by someone moving in the alley, or of the insects that buzz around the flowers in the afternoon heat. The world is often like that, sending out hints without any details.

Most often the world doesn't even send out hints. It just runs along leaving most of its inhabitants oblivious to all but their immediate surroundings, most of which most of those inhabitants ignore most of the time. We're busy in our own heads, mulling over some immediate task, or some other time or other place, some past or future, near or distant. It's not like there's always a breeze and a jasmine hedge dropping hints into our noses.

My imagined passerby would go off about some business, and the perfume would fade from both air and memory. It's sticking in my memory right now because the breeze keeps refreshing it. But eventually I'll think of something else or of nothing in particular, and become the imagined passerby, passing by my forgotten self.


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