sketchbook: Thursday 6 October 2011

THU 6 OCT 2011 2:15 pm MY LIVING ROOM

An autumnal dimness has settled over the house, and a near-quiet, except for the tumbling thrum of the dryer upstairs and the occasional sigh of a passing car. There is also the faint, patient ticking of the battery-powered clock hanging high on the wall over the pine entertainment unit. The clock plods on, one tick at a time, destination nowhere.

Outside, beyond the horizontal stripes of the venetian blinds, all is still. There is more movement in the corner of my eye from the stirring of the ratty bouquet of peacock feathers standing from the great vase under the window: the baseboard heater sends a column of warm air upward. But outside; that listlessness of still air under an overcast like a great tent of gray canvas, glowing a little more brightly here and there from unseen sources of light beyond. Each little leaf of the Japanese maple tree growing past and around the back deck hangs perfectly still.

Here inside all is still too: a theater-set after everyone has left, awaiting tomorrow’s performance: overstuffed furniture of maroon leather, pine tables from Ikea, gray carpet.

The dryer still goes, a slightly high-pitched, wavering sound (near 440 Hz, as I know from its interference when I’m trying to tune my guitar) like the engine of a ship making its way across a wide expanse of waves that keep shifting, never the same, tugging the ship minutely and ceaselessly.

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