Lawrence Ypil

Dog ears in the wrong notebook

JUST two weeks and already the grass is brown. A stiff, dry wind blows through the yard I overlook: brown, barren. The garden raking the leaves knows well what everyone is beginning to suspect: that summer will be long, and tedious and dry.

Nothing differentiates the leaves from the grass. They form one wide field of thirst. The world coughs an errant breeze. The earth cracks. The hose will not be enough.

Already a nine o’clock sun’s too hot to bear. By twelve, the streets are empty. It’s no wonder no one walks here, where we’re from. A corner away seems like a risk on one’s life.

No wonder we love our pedicabs, and tricycles, and cars. Years now, we’ve lived with the sun, and still we are surprised by it. It happens every year. Such surprised are commonplace: Pagka-init.

Still the shade suffices. One in the afternoon, we fan ourselves to sleep. An old song trails its wet track from the mouth of an old radio. Time does not seem to move, but we are fine, sitting here, sitting still. The story that we read, that we hear, is far from its end, but we are content that it has stopped: for now, for now. The world will turn without us.

So widespread, so intent, does this weather become we have come to believe in everything it says. We believe we can all begin again. We dream that we can start from scratch. On everyone’s mind: “after this heat--- we will----“ , “after this bad bad weather---“. What strolls we will take in the heat of early evening. What loves we will imagine in this humidity. The water will quench whatever it is that we will thirst for, and with.

Meanwhile, the night arrives, and dinner is served. Summer evenings beckon us with the possibility of good food, wine, a long story that has no end begins to be told, again. Someone on an old bike heads home. If only this bounty would last long and be shared. And the sun not rise again, tomorrow, if it didn’t bring with it some clouds or rain. If only the crops, did not mind so much the sweltering weather, and grew.