It is 10 PM. My dog Chules stares up at me from the floor, where he has been sleeping most of the evening. He wants to catch my eye so I will realize it is bedtime. I’m not sure how he distinguishes between his many naps and bedtime, nor do I understand why he feels responsible for getting me to turn in at this particular hour. Nonetheless, bedtime it is.
As per ritual, I open the front door so he can go outside and relieve himself one last time. Not wanting to draw moths to the light inside, I step out onto the porch, close the door, and wait in the dark for Chules to finish his business. Sometimes he gets right to it, sometimes he goes off on a final check of the yard’s perimeter. On warm nights like tonight, he is just as apt to sit on the lawn and gaze at the stars. I join him in sitting and gazing, though I’m certain our ruminations run on very different tracks.
it is quiet tonight except for the chirping of crickets. I don’t recall having heard them for quite some time, and I find comfort in the familiarity of nature’s music. So much of it has gone missing. After a time, I stand and Chules comes trotting back to the porch. We go inside and — having settled my mind and his kidneys — we retire to our beds in peace.
on dark, warm nights I eavesdrop
songs not meant for me