The afternoon gives strong hints of being perfect, though I'm too muddled to be able to tell. There was a small second crop of jasmine blossoms this year, and a small second crop of golden poppies. The cat spends the warm afternoons in the back yard, napping in one shady spot or another. Sometimes I go out and sit on the porch and watch her, and look at the shapes of the fully-leafed trees and the patch of sky to the south below that lately vacated by the sun. There are softer spots about than my back yard, I'm sure, but I have no way of finding them and would have no way of reaching them. Nothing has ever been quite what I've imagined it could be. I sit until the hard chair begins to make my bones ache, then walk about stirring a bit of dust from the desiccated lawn before going in. Something outside the shrunken world hovers at the edge of my dazed thoughts. The cat just naps and doesn't care.