Friday, April 18, 2008

Overcast Spring Afternoon

1. The asthmatic snore of a leaf blower a few hundred feet to the north on Hot Springs road.

2. The throaty chatter of quarreling squirrels in the nearby stand of cedars, followed by the misanthropic squawk of one who has fallen from his or her branch, followed by a round of recriminations and I-told-you-so remonstrances.

3. The gluttonous sounds of banded pigeons at the seed- and peanut-filled stump, their vocalizing sounding like afflicted wheels on a supermarket shopping cart.

4. A sudden, thick, wrenching sound as a white-crowned sparrow miscalculates a newly washed window.

5. A parade of bugs, altering their life forms against the window adjacent my work area.

6. The nasal horn of a taco truck, announcing afternoon break refreshments for the workers at two neighboring estates farther up toward Mountain Drive.

7. The horn of an afternoon diesel, slamming through from Los Angeles, sounding like a kid with a runny nose.

8. A bored neighborhood dog, telling all in earshot to fuck off.

9. The hourly angelus from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, down below at the foot of Hot Springs and East Valley.

10. Not to be outdone, the contrapuntal and more quickly paced retort from the Presbyterian Church further down on East Valley.

11. Another neighborhood dog, contributing two-part harmony to the matins of barking.

12. Sally, aroused from her afternoon nap, advising the barking dogs to get a life.

13. The overhead whistle of a hawk, cruising for the hawk-like equivalent of afternoon tea.

14. Someone lazily raking along a graveled path. Perhaps too lazily, A voice enjoining, Let's get a move on.

15. The musical chatter of two Spanish-speaking maids, walking down Hot Springs Road toward the bus stop. one a contralto, ending sentences with question marks.