The amplified music rolls over roofs, down alleys, spills into the house. I pause in the kitchen, knife poised over the last of the truly good cucumbers, tilt my head to listen as an amplified voice chatters excitedly in some Latin American tongue. Since my Spanish is limited to being able to ask for “one more, please” or to understand that if I “marco dos” I will hear the information regarding my bank account in a language other than my own, I have limited ideas as to what he’s saying, only know that high, childish voices cheer and chant when he finishes.
The sound is confusing, muffled and bouncing among the two- and three-story houses. Jeff, two blocks away, sends a text: Is there music in the park today? He refers to the large park across the street. I go out onto the porch. There had been two shifts of Hispanic families and their futbol teams, the inevitable ice cream man trolling hopefully at their outskirts; but the park is empty now.
It’s a beautiful day, the kind that reminds you of summer’s fragility. Sure the leaves are green, the sky brilliantly blue, but every night, the temperature dips just a little bit lower, and the mornings now beg the question: Do I wear a jacket to the bus, knowing that I will need to carry it in the afternoon?
The quiet approach of fall – like the muffling silence of a blizzard – brings somberness with it. The wind blows in ever-cooler gusts, and something primordial in the back of my mind whispers “Store up. Make sure there will be enough.”
The music drifts over my roof and through my windows: a bass guitar, an electric piano, and a man’s plaintive voice.
I still can’t tell where it’s coming from or what he’s talking about, but it sounds like “say good-bye”.