Sunset Shore

It always comes to life in mid-sentence supported with the kind of readiness I only wish I could bottle and stall its fleeting visit. Maybe it’s just the right amount of cold air to the face or the feeling after all my energy has been washed away? It’s probably nothing quite as calculated as that or as picture-perfect, but I think looking to my right and seeing how things have changed is likely the real culprit.

The population on the October waters has flown away from the diverse selection that floated on the September ones. I’m about seven tenths of the way home before I notice this, and it’s an odd number but the perfect one to describe where I took everything in. I looked out and saw the water, the new bank along side it like gravel lining a country road, the side of the canal so often submerged, a layer of the street and pedestrians next, a horizon of vehicles behind them with another layer of tree trunks and homes following, and the eye continues up to the fall palette of retiring leaves ready to fully embrace the fall. It’s like cutting the cake of the earth to its core and seeing the layers stacked, however this fully fall day sits on display in proud acceptance of just how different it is from the same scene of just a month ago. The water’s gone so we can glide on it after the chill sinks deep enough, and the tails counter-balancing the diving beaks are the last of the summer denizens skating on the water before we do.

This dusk is different then the others beyond the sad nostalgia and appreciative stares. It’s getting harder to pedal and ride home to an outward-looking perspective on the journey. The energy is missing in the force I need to drive my knees and even my elbows feel weak. I spend time taking in the sights mentioned above, however I swap the reds of the leaves for the reds of my feet and their laces while I’m staring down. The feel of my body pulls up a memory from my archive, more dust to blow off than I could believe, and I see my reflection in the window of the home I got to know as a teen. I’m exhausted, hungry, and for some reason craving meat, and so I go in and eat far more than I would normally. That meal, nothing more than a sandwich, is the apple in my minds eye without half of the nutritional value. It’s all I can think of, and maybe that’s fortunate because the last stretch home only goes uphill.

One more thought is there, not so much a thought but a sight: yellow. Yellow and bright flash my ankles between my shoes and pant. The monkey face and barrels outlined as a black stencil look up at me and I love them, I think, or perhaps gasp with depravity, as much as I could ever love anything. Nothing will ever be more and will only ever aspire to rise up and meet that. The gears, chain, and wheels all grind with age and the sights around are all of endings, but the bright reminder of sunny jungles and music of freedom contrasts brilliantly. It’s a little thing, but the little things never really let you down.

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