Imperatives of a Summer Solstice

28 Jul

by Nancy Scott

          Wake to the cool, early morning.  Waste in routine; wait for sun to burn off haze.  Check the synthesized voice’s “to do” list.  Do the minimum.  Write hopeful rough drafts instead.

          Answer the phone after 2 hours and one idea well captured.  Say “Yes” to friends who will drive to get you for lunch and shopping out.

          Order the expensive iced chai latte but get the cheap tuna hoagie split three ways with green peppers on the side.  Listen to narration of slender people creating salads.

Plan to buy triple-chocolate poundcake.  Add the banana bread described as looking “yummy” as a pleasant extra.  Promise to freeze them both out of mind like so many things that surface in vapors and chills.

          Choose strawberries that might be locally grown.  Follow the shopping cart.  Walk the superstore.  Ask about vitamins and melon-scented hand soap.  Buy the lavendar/lilac shampoo that will surely cure boredom.

          Decide not to spend much.  Spend almost twenty bucks, like always. 

          Put purchases where they belong at home.  Slice and eat one big banana bread piece before freezing the rest.  Believe it even better than you were told.  Share some cake and washed berries with the helpful but underpaid apartment security guard.

          Sit out on the 3-person bench with the neighbor who only talks about herself.  Know you’ve heard most of her stories before.  Understand her need for less lonely air.  Don’t mention listening to longest light.  Think where far enough is.

          Wonder why all the sidewalk bushes were cut down to their roots—those 9-year, 5-foot-tall landmarks suddenly gone.

          Give up on the Phillies early, though they will win with 10 runs.  Deflower and finger-hull fruit impatiently.  Debate sugar and milk.  Taste health. 

          Chat on a phoneline for blind people to the always-cheerful man from Texas.  Guess if he’s as wealthy as he claims.  Suspect that some other paralysis slightly catches his breath and halts his speech.  Never mind because he’s fun. 

          Set the alarm for next morning’s NASA briefing.  Love this less anonymous light and more anonymous dark of long travel and history.  Pay attention to passions. 

          Drift toward sleep reading a digital novel about people and places unknown.  Wish for crickets who will not sing beneath nearby windows because they fear the newer air-conditioner tower.

          Plan to take the cane some night soon to search out the evening chirps of never-changing but always-changing summer.  Think where far enough is.

          Sleep.  Dream.

Nancy Scott, Easton, PA, is an essayist and poet.  Her over-500 bylines have appeared in magazines, literary journals, anthologies and newspapers, and as audio commentaries.  Her third chapbook, co-authored with artist Maryann Riker, is entitled “The Nature of Beyond.”

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One Response to “Imperatives of a Summer Solstice”

  1. Tina Loprado July 30, 2011 at 6:59 AM #

    This is a wonderful piece. I read it several times. It so describes in many ways the days I spend living in this world with all the senses other than sight that God has so generously left me with. Thank you so much.

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