sketchbook: Saturday 20 August 2011

SAT. 20 AUG 2011 ca. 11:25 am MY FRONT PORCH

touch: My weight pressing warmly into my slippers; the soft, faintly damp, living texture of the paper against the skin of my hands; the glossy slim rigidity of the barrel of my pen. My T-shirt clings to different parts of my body with a slight friction as of salt.

taste: A faint savoriness of butter and bread.

smell: A neutral warmth and a faint earthiness.

sound: The insistent rush of engines, now dropping to background breathiness, now surging with a strain of acceleration like animals grunting with effort. Now a loud whirring-pinging of a vehicle passing with some part whirling and hitting inside. Cars: sounds of their passing, like outboard motors on a lake, like distant jets in the sky, like racecars with impatient drivers stomping on the gas, drivers acceleration with disproportionate loud speed, as though resenting having to have stopped at the intersection. And now the bus rolling to a stop, woman’s electronic voice announcing the stop and the loud diesel roar of its departure.

sight: Sunshine falling on the yellowing grass of the boulevard separating the east- and westbound lanes of Keith Road. I’m in the shade cast by the building looking north. Bushy orbs of pieris and forsythia, freshly trimmed. Dark mass of tall holly-tree on my right, casting ragged-edged shadow along the speckled sidewalk. Shadow of a bird moves in a jiggling line across the road. A neat trapezoid of grass, the apron of concrete thought supports the bus-stop sign: a matte-textured steel pole with a plastic garbage-bin clamped to it, and the word Bus Stop on two signs clamped vertically at the top. 3 meters to the right, a “no parking” sign. The roadway itself is pale-gray snakeskin. The boulevard slopes up, young magnolias at the curbside, slightly older maples dotting the lawn, through which an asphalt path winds sinuously, a young couple pushing a black stroller along and tugging a black Labrador on a leash. A green MPV is parked up on the westbound lane, two Canadian flags hanging limp from its roof. Behind it: a white pickup. A dense hedge of cedar screens the lower story of the gray townhouses opposite, each of which has a projecting square overlooking the street with white rectangular windows. The squares are topped by sundecks with umbrellas and pavilion-awnings. Behind them is the gray slope of roof like the side of a truncated Egyptian pyramid, and beyond that, clear blue sky.

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