Sunset of the Twenty-Tens

Night comes fast this time of year. One moment you’ll be looking down in sunlit splendor, reading an email, maybe, or scrolling through a feed; the next moment you will look up and find the sky streaked with pastel and Venus peering at you from the purple firmament. What happened? you ask, wasn’t it just lunch? Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.

Earlier this evening I realized that the last five years years have passed like a winter sunset. Watching old Viceland programming tonight on the zombie internet cable that came bundled with my Samsung TV was strangely tragic. Shows like Weediquette and F*ck That’s Delicious are like the last documents of the pre-COVID decade, an era we aren’t likely to miss but can never get back anyway. I watched Krishna Andavolu and an old hippie weed capitalist in Mendocino, California shuffle and sniff big Mason jars full of neon green cannabis buds like epicurean sommeliers and felt, just for a moment, a dull pang of regret. Our concerns in that summer of 2016 spanned the breadth and depth of a cannabis high. Overhead the sun was descending, however. Slow but gaining, it illuminated our salad afternoons until, in some instant historians will spend years debating, it dipped below the horizon.

I changed the channel.  

Thunder

Thunder here among the pines and red hills is the song of summer. Listen long enough and you will hear its song in different keys throughout the day. Thunder at 7:00 in the morning sings a gentle song of relief, of decisions you need not make, heat you need not endure. On a weekday morning this song is colored faintly with regret. It is a lullaby the armchair by the window hums softly to itself as you clamber through the door and leave for work. Thunder at noon is puckish, a cymbal crash to punctuate your lunch hour or send you scurrying to the pavilion at the beach clutching your shoes and towels. At day’s end here thunder sings the loudest, conducting a fanfare for the setting sun diva as it dips below the closed-curtain horizon. 

At night thunder sings the sweetest song. A song of space, of longing, and distance. A song of life.