Sunday, August 8, 2010

Brave New.

I was wrong yesterday. Sometimes the forecast gets it wrong. And sometimes the forecast makes assumptions without having gone outside: The light looked bad. The cicadas sounded bad. The wind, when it blew, looked bad, gave me no inkling that once I did go outside it'd be—well, it was pleasant. Aggressively so. For August, it was downright nice, even. The humidity was down. We never saw 90. I hung drywall. I cut it in the back of the truck. In the sun, even. And it was warm in the sun, but it wasn't kill-yourself-and-then- your-friends-and-neighbors warm. And then the grandparents—in town to lay eyes upon the boy king—took us to dinner, and we did sit, at about 9 p.m., outside. In 2740X. In August. With the Toad. Who slept through dinner. All things, friends and fans of weather, are possible. Sort of.

The Toad's new trick: he watches you. One could, if one was of a mind to, make a chicken while the Toad supervised from the comfort of his rocker sling chair. One could crush the garlic and wash the cilantro and cut and squeeze the lime and get all of that on and in the chicken and the chicken on and in the oven while the Toad watched. This is so new: the Toad, awake, not squalling. I've said it here before. I'll probably say it again. Doesn't much matter. Being able to put the awake child down and then do something is the difference between an August day in the mid-eighties and most of all of every of each of the other August days.

And inexplicably and like a gift and from downtown tonight on the end of yesterday's wind arrived Cuban music at top volume, played from some venue down the street. Who knows which. Sometimes we get music from downtown. It just comes. Tonight, it started as half-horrible soul covers. But then, impossibly, there was a second band, a Cuban band—drums and horns, backup singers, the whole thing. What to do but take the Toad out on the back deck and drink a beer and keep the mosquitoes off his head as best I could and sit in an evening that was sliding back toward what we expect this time of year, heat and hot, and listen? So we did. And then the dog got wise, and then there were three of us. The cicadas. I don't remember the cicadas ever being like this. But the band was louder. Cuban music. Cool on the edge of the breeze in August. The Toad, watching it all. Some of it, at least. I've explained to the dog about the weather. Now one of us is going to have to start explaining it to the Toad.

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