The whole neighborhood is quiet and resting after dinnertime. The sky is a glowing sherbet and highlights the silhouettes of palm trees and Victorian houses. There are sometimes people quietly giving the lawn one last drink or solitary dog walkers but most of the walk is a stroll through abandoned streets. All the homes are luminaries with little scenes or television viewers, armchair readers and lemon light through lace curtains. The cherry plums have dropped their sweet fruits all over the sidewalks in some places and they polka-dot the cement with splat marks and pits. The smell of jasmine swirls past me sometimes, and the heavy sweet of datura putting out their evening burst of smell.
The magnolias leaves shine in the streetlights as I walk second half of the walk, towards home. I walk luxuriantly slow crossing streets because there are no cars in any direction, you can see down and down and down the street, intersections melting into themselves at the vanishing point. It could be a fantastic stage for an impromptu dance performance, all those streetlights and the big open stage with the yellow lines shining down the center. When I come home I always remember that I've forgotten my keys and my very logical husband has locked the front door so I have to call to him quietly through the screen of the office window to be let back into my little luminary. Everything feels softer and warmer back home again, all the little things that make up our cozy life: the turquoise tea kettle, our shelves of books, the confetti of Lego on the floor. The boys aren't asleep but they're in their beds and the light is out, and that's good enough for us. Time to return to my mate and my nest and my lists and remind myself to make the bed up tomorrow as I quietly wash up the supper dishes.