Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Last Night Musings

On the last night before I leave a place, I come into a contemplative vein, remembering the simple images and haunts that constituted my days. Tomorrow I leave this tropical grove and its languid spans, the little stray dog who will most likely be gone when next I return, and my family; I remember the flatteningly bright morning sunshine when we would share Cuban coffee out of small plastic cups at the Genesis Bakery, and long afternoons that draw into the wide, slow dusk of this part of Florida. Last night I went to the waterfront near Coconut grove with a full moon in the sky that limned the tall, soft clouds in such bright shades that they looked as though someone had painted them in oil on a vaulting canvas.

Years ago I had stayed with a friend for a short while en route of a long drive, and the night that I left she stood in the driveway, a black silhouette against the lamplit street, waving goodbye as I drove away. At the time I described what I felt as having become "accustomed" to my days there---and that embodies the substance of what I feel in leaving a lifestyle that has become routine enough that one begins to take it for granted, and in the very act of doing so draws it deeper into the subconscious: put another way, if someone close to one's heart goes away, it is not the grand events of life together that one will miss in the end---the vacations to breathtaking waterfalls or striking the jackpot in Las Vegas---but the little daily habits, grocery shopping, playing Scrabble; the quick lackadaisical hours of life.

The night hours march inexorably onward, and my musings segue to sleep.

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