The sun shines form the west, creating a patch of light on the sloping lawn. You can see the gnats dancing. They’re nearly always there. Maybe there is an underground stream.
It is sticky and oppressive. Summers here are never blue sky and glorious. Today, there is only total inertia. No sounds and the thin hint of them muffled by a blanket of enforced siesta.
Then Jack next door barks. A door opens. There are children’s voices and the sound of tea cups. A sprinkler swishes on. The air cools a little, just a little. An ice-cream van plays Greensleeves at 100 miles an hour. Ice Dreams still has custom, it seems, despite the chest freezers in the garages.
A car pulls on to the drive, the engine stops and a door slams.
Afternoon is gone. I take the wine bottle out of the fridge and reach for two glasses. A summer evening has begun.