sound of summer
The temperature has risen and the chuntering wallpaper of cicadas has drowned out the blackbirds in my glade: Now they are in unison; now another enters, his first chugs like the pistons of a toy steam engine increasing in speed until he rivals the other group; now suddenly they all stop as if obeying the command of an invisible conductor; a soloist dares to come in with its deafening squeak somewhere on the dappled bark of the plane tree above me. Faster, higher in pitch, but every beat with the same accent. He stops and for a second I can hear the butterflies’ wings flit. This brief silence is the sound of heat.
Thismorning at one o’clock I was sitting in our kitchen, a vat of Chateauneuf du Pape swilling around inside my belly, the charcoal smell of barbecued fish hanging in the air, playing Bach VERY badly to my four favourite artists and spouses as they sketched me. I thought it was a good after dinner party game at the time. The sketches were pretty nice when I saw them this morning lying next to the limp salad. I went outside, squinted in the bright and picked up seven corks. One was a magnum.
As we were watching the colours change on the Ventoux earlier in the evening, a jogger passed with a dog in his arms. He had carried the animal, slobbering from the parching beat of the sun, half way down the mountain. We phoned the owners and a girl arrived with her dad and took the ragged thing in her arms, setting a bottle of je nes sais quoi on our table as thanks. The dog had walked ten kilometres.
Courgettes are in flower.
The shutters are closed. The pool is open. I have a nice new bathing suit.
The cicada has started up again.
Summer is here.