On Saturday night, I sat - melted, really - in a darkened third story apartment overlooking uptown Whittier. The trees out the double French balcony doors were melting too, their edges bleeding into the mellow July twilight. In the apartment, some sat with their eyes closed, others were unfocused and lazy. We were staging a "listening" party, the kind of soiree wherein we eschewed the pedantic party banter of typical get-togethers and instead focused our attention to actively listening - not to each other, but to Sunset Rubdown's latest release Dragonslayer.
The music unfurled, quietly at first - then anthemic and conclusive. The melody bent, twisted, stopped, started again. Every part of every song was a wholly formed statement in and of itself, each idea contributing to the next but also operating independently of each other. Aside from the music, it was a quiet night - unobtrusive, anticlimactic. Pleasant.
And so I found myself today in my quiet house. Sitting in the dimly lit living room during the final burning hours of daylight. Considering a somewhat anti-climactic end to an era. What now? The lyrics to Grizzly Bear's "Colorado" echoed in my mind: "What now? What now?"
Later Ashley and I went for a walk. We drifted through the neighborhoods, considering which front porches we preferred, stopping occasionally to pet friendly dogs along the way. Nodding "hello" to anyone we passed. At Mann Elementary School, we paused in front of the shuttered front steps, in front of the darkened classrooms, the halls empty now for another two months. "Smell these," Ashley said, motioning to a cluster of roses near the front entrance. I paused. I smelled the roses. Hey, that's not so bad. I could get used to this, I said, and we kept walking.
"Want to go get Slurpees?" She asked, a stupid question because she knew the answer would be yes.
The day is ending, anti-climactically. The events that unfolded in the morning seem unobtrusive now. A hall pass. A freebie. A Get Out Of Jail Free card. More time for walks, for stopping and considering. For listening.
And a lot more time for Slurpees.