I emerged from the dark confines of my room to make myself some food. I walked along the living room floor to the kitchen, accompanied by only the soft creaks of the old wooden plateau and realized I was alone. It was just me, solo. I was enveloped by the warmly dazed quietness of the June evening. The house smelled of my mother; an eau de toillete had permeated the air. Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana, an icy smell. Sharp, but not exactly piquant; it carried more of a glacial atmosphere. In the distance I could hear the birds singing their last songs of the day, the ice cream man’s faint, desperate bell; children across the street were chanting and laughing; one five year old enunciated so sweetly to the rest – “OK guys are you ready to play?” It was nice. I heard my neighbor watering her lawn, and the monotonous overtones of droll Los Angeles traffic were dancing in the background.
I got to the kitchen, listlessly feeling as if I had accomplished what seemed like a yearly migration. I heard the crisp *clink-clock* of my worn out slippers lambasting the tiles of the kitchen floor; the sounds reverberated throughout the empty chateau. As my bagel was toasting I looked outside the kitchen window, hands lazily rested on the porcelain counter, and saw the vivid light of 6:00 PM turn in on my lawn chairs as if it were tired from a long, relentless day. I saw the silhouettes of shadows along the cement walls; of plants, bugs, birds, all fluttering along in the air. Ting. My bagel was ready. I drenched it with peanut butter and proceeded to grab a cup from the pantry. I filled it with ice water and nestled into a chair adjacent to the kitchen. No lights were on so my food looked less – than – scrumptious due to the washed out colors. The water was exemplary, albeit just water. I sat there for fifteen minutes, looking at my reflection in the polish of the wooden table, listening to the sounds of the evening, chewing like a quasi-bovine mammal, and waiting for someone to get home.
My mother arrived and she met me at the dining room table, just as I was taking the last bites of my bagel. In her hands were her belongings; a purse, leftovers from the day’s lunch wrapped in aluminum foil. “Hola, coca cola,” she said to me. “Hi,” I said back. “Your cousin got sent to jail.” “Oh.”
This wasn’t news I was particularly happy to receive, but I was complacent just the same. She sat down next to me with a plate of food, tortillas and rice, and started talking to me about it. We talked about familial matters; the jail incident, college, our lack of wifi. I speculated upon her face, the blue-orange light of that summer night contouring her cheekbones as they shifted back and forth while she chewed her food ever so softly. Her age didn’t show, but the years radiated from her face as if to compensate for her lack of wrinkles.
We retired to her room to continue the conversation. I lay on one side of the bed, her on the other. It was now 6:43 and the light from outside was still fairly strong. The shadows from the window shutters were resting on my mother’s leg, a pattern of black, and then orange, black and then orange. I heard cars outside zipping about. Trees were swaying back and forth in a lethargically lackadaisical manner as the evening winds asked them for a dance. A dog barked. The warm hues crushed us into a nostalgic pulp, and there we lay, content. My leg was dangling over the side of the bed, a pillow as soft as a lamb’s wool was resting underneath my head, my eyes were squinted, all as I looked on to the realities of the outer world, as the stories of a million people walking along on that that summer night, before me, unfurled.