From my squeaky, narrow mattress, I listen to the sounds of my neighborhood. Ordinarily I’d be sitting in the garden, enjoying the night’s coolness. As it is, I’m stuck in bed, downed by a five-day cold. Still, the neighborhood comes to life.
The hours of siesta are quiet as those after 11 PM. Sometimes, during the late afternoon, classics from the Great American Songbook tinkle through the air when my neighbor gives piano lessons. There’s a certain soothing to that, a certain timelessless. It’s a delightful contrast to the busy night hours.
Then private cars and taxis unfamiliar with this street break hard before the speed bump before my house. Sometimes they don’t see it at all and throw off their alignment in a ruffle of dirt and gravel. College boys walk boisterously along the streets. They’re a contract to young girls singing loudly for a small crowd gathered for a beverage at the corner sandwich shop.
I listen and notice the slight breeze blowing. It doesn’t penetrate to me, surrounded as my house is by high walls. But I hear it. I see it too. In the motion of the palm trees casting shadows outside my open, wood-paned windows.
Eventually, sounds diminish and shadows slow. That’s the sign that it’s around 11 PM, a cue for my bedtime. Tomorrow I will awaken during the active hours. It’s the weekend. Should health be mine, I’ll be able to explore neighborhood by foot rather than by ear.