Sitting on my patio last night around 10:30, I mainly wanted to check out the new security light that was installed on the end of the apartment building directly up the hill from us. It's bright. Very bright. Still, it's welcomed. Sad to admit that my neighborhood is not the safest place at night. Yes, sad.
Rob came out to inspect the new light and to check on his baby Venus Fly Trap. Normally, we are not ones to sit outside at night. Not exactly sure why. The day had been very hot, but the humidity was very low. A nice change! The night brought the humidity with it. Sitting with Rob, I told him that on nights like this back when I was little, I would sit outside with my folks and after the neighbors went home, we'd stay out. I told Rob that when it was really hot and humid, like last night, my mom would let me take off my shirt.
"Uhm, just how young were you?" Laughed Rob.
"Seven or eight. Way before ten!" At ten, I could never get away with this. I remember it feeling so liberating; what a treat! Running around under the big tree, feeling free as a bird. My dad wasn't keen on the idea of his daughter running around outside without her shirt on. Ma would just shush him.
"Leave her be, Frank. It's fine." Shaking his head in defeat, he'd go inside. Ma would then give me her "You're my girl, and I'm your Ma, and I know what's what" grin. I spun around, arms in the air.
I came back to my chair and Ma and I would sit in the darkness. We would listen to the night sounds. Crickets. Bats. Cicadas. A lone bird in the distance. The air was thick with humidity and Honeysuckle. Soon we would be slapping mosquitoes and that was usually our cue to pack it in and go inside. Almost as soon as I had a mental picture of this, Rob slapped his arm.
"I'm getting eaten alive. Too many creepie-crawlies, I'm going in. You coming?" I told him that I'd be in soon. He quickly went back inside.
I sat on our patio. The music of the night was loud and continuous. Bats in the trees sang back and forth. Again the air was thick, but this time it was scented with wet grass and clover. Every now and then I would hear snapping in the trees and on the ground in the patch of trees just over to my right. Maybe it was a badger foraging around in there. Or rabbits? I keep seeing a tiny baby bunny nabbot (you have to say it like this: Beebee bunny nabbbbbbbot. Thanks, Ma) hopping in the garden during the day. Gorgeous moths fly to the porch light.
My mind wanders to bigger, more complicated thoughts. Money. Bills. I frown. I feel like I am being cheated out of a calm interlude. How dare these thoughts take over. Not now! I force them away. I concentrate on the shirring of the bats. I inhale the clover and grass. I win. I am calm once again.
Seems nobody sits on the stoop anymore. Nobody wants to sit outside on a summer night. At least not in my neck of the woods. It's a real shame. I have wonderful decaf iced tea. Lemonade. An empty chair. How I would love to just talk the night away with a good friend. Then again, I love the silence. I can almost hear my vegetables growing. Almost.
Today is already a scorcher and it's only 9:15am. I may go to the pool. I need to exercise. I'll come home, have supper ready and get the patio cleaned up a bit. Water and weed the veggies if we don't get any storms. If not, then I'll probably be sitting outside again. Yeah, I liked that. I miss that. Maybe this time my kids will join me. Maybe not.
Adding Citronella candles to my grocery list.
Oh, and I'll keep my shirt on. The bra will come off, though.