Monday, July 02, 2007

Summer Passings

Just playing with thoughts in today's post. Simply a memory, a recollection returning vividly. A picture in my mind.....

A young boy, maybe ten, twelve at the oldest sitting on his swing in the backyard. The sun feels good on my arms and there's the uniquely personal scent of skin warmed by the sun.

The swing creaks lightly as I slowly sway and I am suddenly aware of the metallic smell of the chains, and of rust. I can hardly detect the orange hue on some of the chain links. It's on my hands, too, just a little but it doesn't bother me.

A slight summer breeze pushes through the yard and makes the leaves on the apple tree turn to greet it. Green apples, sweet fragrance belies the sour taste. Some have fallen to the ground. Many have, actually. Picking them up, a summer's chore. But that's for later, not for now.

Beyond the apple is the lone cherry tree in our yard, it's fruit now more fit for the birds than for the rest of us. A gentle call, not too loud. The tree is several feet away. I don't know how many. I'm young, it's hard to guess. The same tones repeated. A lilt, a fall, a lilt. A cardinal. Claiming his tree, no doubt. Plenty of cherries for all, I'm certain.

A screen door protests being opened. My aunt, who lives next door, spies me and waves. "What you doing, Bobby?"

One of the very few who got away with calling me that. A quick smile, "nothing." I hang my head. Very shy. No, very shy. She goes inside and I am alone with my thoughts once more.

A car passes slowly on the street behind me. It's a short stretch of road between stop signs. The sun has baked the asphalt and the tires seem to stick to it. The sound it makes is just like when you pull apart hands that got sticky from sweat and candy.

"Largo. Largo," I hear from the other direction. Auntie's myna bird calling out his own name. He knows how to wolf whistle, too. It's kind of funny.

Mom's face appears in the window near the back porch. She's washing dishes, I suppose. Not looking my way, she seems to be staring toward the rock garden over by the garage. I look over that way but I don't see what she does, I guess.

Two young girls walk the road where the car with the sticky tires just travelled. They look pretty. And happy. I hope Largo doesn't wolf whistle. He does. They look over, see me. I turn red. They giggle.

I glance at my watch. Two minutes have expired since the swing creaked. A long summer awaits.