Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Cusp of Dark

The sun was still up and the air still warm. Several men had gathered to play what will surely be their last shirts-and-skins game of football in the big field at the park. Afternoon was quickly turning into evening, a delicious and fragrant night on the edge of a winter that has been uncharacteristically timid this year. The air was calm and none of the few leaves which still cling, like poltergeists, to their nests in the thick branches of the elms stirred. Duncan and I sat at a bench and watched the players slowly toss the ball back and forth while they plucked their shirts off the withered grass, tightening their shoelaces as they made their way slowly back to their cars. The sun hung for a moment right above the mountains and the park grew utterly silent as it hovered on the cusp of dusk, night drawing a deep breath before slipping its shawl over us. The last of the light warmed my face and then slowly, almost imperceptibly, began to fade as the sun lowered itself behind the foothills. I felt it go, inch by inch across my cheek until all that remained was one last sliver, like a finger hanging on to the horizon. And then it was gone. A rush of cool air swept over us and I remembered standing on the deck of the big ship when my father and I went on our cruise through the Caribbean thirteen years ago. Nearly every night that week I'd gone out to watch the sun set and see if perhaps I could spot a school of dolphins playing in the thrust of the big water off the bow. As the sun melted into the sea I strained my ears and almost imagined I could hear the soft hiss as it was extinguished by the rush of water around its glowing body, a gentle breath before being claimed by the depths. I can still hear that imagined sound, and as the light slid from the sky tonight I could hear it again. And it was good.

1 comment:

Lori said...

Poltergeists. Nice similie! Sounds like a lovely evening. Did you cheer for the shirts or the skins? ;-)