Sunday afternoon at the Country Estate - a condo in suburbs north of San Francisco. I'm poolside, drinking a shandy and listening to Thelonious Monk, Brad Mehldau, Stevie Wonder. The sunshine is plentiful, but the air holds some cool, hinting - or perhaps overtly revealing - that just outside our sparkling sunbelt, the fog rolls, asserting itself, throwing its weight around. It's also an oblique reminder that summer is on the decline - oblique because in these parts, we still have glorious Indian Summer ahead of us before the seasons turn earnestly chilly.
Indian Summer is just ridiculous. Beautiful and perfect and calm, warm sun, long sunsets, a sense that everything is just good in the world. Of course, then the sunsets get longer as October stretches in, rain maybe even falls a time or two, then daylight savings abruptly ends one night at 2am, and we're plunged into darkness till we spring forward next year.
But that's ages from now - two months - so for the moment, I will drink my shandy by the pool and stay in the warm sun and avoid thinking anything outside of summer being endless.
There are three men in suits carrying bibles and stalking around the condo complex. They go from door to door silently, I assume proselytizing but who knows - it's the perfect disguise for robbing houses on a Sunday afternoon, and doors could be unlocked around these parts. They've noticed me and are noticeably not looking at me, in the sun with my bikini and my drink. Monk's Honeysuckle Rose plinks away thought the little speakers on the side table.
Alex, love of my life, is up in the Country Estate writing and recording bass clarinet parts for a new song. The low, throaty tones mix in the breeze with the sounds of a prop plane, rustling leaves, bird songs, the ubiquitous cars-on-road, my keyboard strokes, Brad Mehldau Trio, and occasionally a human voice. And a weed whacker. It is Sunday after all.
I feel like I can hear the pool, but it's imaginary synesthesia. It is a thing of beauty, though: artificially tropical blue, Caribbean-colored, from a bleachy bluish white in the shallows to a deep, clean sky at the 9 foot end. There's something perfect about a swimming pool: a promise of perfection, a dream, a myth - contained and controlled, but wet and therefore wild. David Hockney saw it, got it. Flying into an airport near a neighborhood rich with swimming pools, one can't help but look down into them and think "this is the place". A Talking Headsian paradise.
Or something like that. Anyway, my shandy is running low, and I must must must keep writing - the first writing in ages, and I fully intend...