This evening I find a note in my laptop. After a long day, a Romance Post-it that ends on a rising note.
The house is quiet: the old lady at her other home, and E. in Spain for a few days.
I lie in bed and type because the library is cold, and it’s too late to begin heating the room. I’m winding down for the night – blue filter on the computer screen.
Voices carry through the vent in the corner of the bedroom. A man and a woman must be just across the street in the parking lot of the nursing home. It’s an easy melody. He’s leaving now, because there is a rise in pitch and in volume: a crescendo. A rising note that ends the conversation with an ellipsis. A car door closes.
I think of voices drifting from the living room, when I was small. Soft, smoky grown-up sounds like muffled coughs. And then someone would leave, a rise in pitch and in volume. A closing door. Then a rustling of papers and fabric. Sighs.
Bedtime in a half-light of a paisley scarf thrown over a lamp on the floor. I lay in the annex of the grown-ups’ space: curious, though mostly content in a pocket of out-of-sight, out-of-mind.
I remember calling out, listening to voices stir like water about to boil. Then quiet again. How many times will I call out. How many times will they deliberate, and decide I should be sleeping.
Light spreads on the floor in an amber triangle.”What,” on an exhale.
If I recall correctly, it wasn’t a battle of wills so much as an experiment. Like prodding a kindly dragon.
“Goodnight.” on a falling note. “Good night” as an iamb.
Again. As a spondee.