You told yourself you were going to scale back from social stuff this weekend but you’ve been out every night all the same. Brunch and lunch and coffees and dinners, lots of friends, lots of talking. Lots of texting and running around. You are home only to sleep and to throw your clothes in the corner, you are always skittering down all four flights of stairs. You get off the bus at eleven on a Sunday night and shiver in your hat and scarf and gloves, thinking about your bed and its flannel sheets. Put on a song with a piano and cello and—is that an accordion?–and a thin reedy voice as you round the corner to your house. It’s cold and you’ve got work in the morning but stop a minute and listen. Stop a minute and look around.
You’ve walked this road hundreds of times in the last year and a half, in all times and seasons and weathers. Tonight it’s the middle of winter, chill and calm and silent. You haven’t done anything new or differently and yet you stare out to the straits like they’re strange to you. The blood rushes soft and quick and secret in your veins; you blink and keep walking, face turned out to the water.
You can’t write it, you can’t say it. All you can do is see it, with all of your eyes: the moon behind the clouds, the lights of the city, the dark bowl of the bay. You climb up to the house through the flax and flowers, their shapes sharp around you. The music burns slow and full and you hollow out a little, just as you reach the front door, just before you turn away to go inside. The nighttime houses breathe gently around you, the song ends. What is it, you think, looking out to the sea through the shadow trees, what’s happening? Why does everything look the same when I know something’s changed? Something’s just changed.
The moon glows gauzy, the wind is still. You shake your head and close your eyes, pull the key from your pocket, open the door.