coming home from institute tonight, mark commented on how this was his favorite time of day--the time from when the sun sets until nightfall. what cinematographers call 'magic hour'.
in lieu of the air conditioner, we opted to just leave the door open. i went outside to get the mail. in the box was just one envelope, and my initial glance of a handwritten 'L' in the name of the return address made me think it was a paycheck i had been waiting for, and i was happy.
it turned out that this was not a paycheck, but a letter from a friend.
an actual physical letter. like what we used to send in the days prior to adding vowels in front of nouns to modernize them.
i was more excited than when i thought i was holding a paycheck, yet i walked slower, and chose to sit on the grassy knoll separating the sidewalk from the parking lot as the light of magic hour painted the row of houses in colors that would have made cezanne proud.
there was nothing immensely profound, and the handwriting was a little difficult to read [about the time i was thinking that, the author apologized for writing whilst standing up on a subway; i was somewhat impressed after that], but it was nevertheless a lovely way to appreciate the summer evening.
i lay back onto the grass and drifted up into the darkening blue sky. whispy pink cirrus clouds moved imperceptibly thousands of feet above me, while my thoughts acted similarly. i've been told that pink color in a sunset is a sign of pollution. i was ok with that--it looked nice. my mind wasn't particularly doing much, but i began to look for shapes. after a while i realized they were gone, and the best i had come up with was the form of a bear skin rug that was actually the blue 'negative' space between the whispy pink clouds.
i reread the letter, just enjoying the niceness of getting a letter in the mail. i regretted, as i did the first time, the small hole on the side of the envelope that i had not torn off; i didn't think much of it when i pulled out the letter, but when the p.s. explained the origin of the 'enclosed' button, i felt sad. sad that a little meaningless button enclosed with whimsy was now lost on a postal room floor.
i continued to lay on the cool grass and watched as pair of swallows flew by. when i was a little boy, my dad explained to me that swallows chose a mate and stay with them. i think ducks do, too, which is one more reason why i like ducks so much. i watched the swallow fly around with his companion. i saw a third tag along behind them.