There is a fourth body in the house, with its own nocturnal habits, which leads me to question, at 4 am, the decision to select latch handles instead of boring door knobs all those years ago.
Twenty minutes later, in the dark, I spoke aloud:
“The basil. Did you cover it?”
We had been covering the basil, just in case, every night, this entire month, ever since nightfall began forcing sweatshirts after dinner at the pond.
Just yesterday, I ripped a few pieces for my lunch, thinking how tender the leaves were and how I must get to making more pesto before the frost.
Instead, I went to the pond, and swam nude toward the sparkling sun, and afterward spread my tarot cards on a blanket for an Equinox draw.
The month had been so unusually pleasant that I’d missed my annual nude swim to the dock because the heat had populated the pond even after the children went back to school.
Now the dock is beached so it’s not the same as lying naked in the middle of a mountain range in the middle of the water in the middle of your life, and besides the pond is populated today too.
I did take a moment in the heat, bare breasted, beside the water, before wrapping my wet body in a towel, on this first afternoon of Autumn.
But it’s not just the basil and the summer. My youngest got his drivers permit yesterday. In fact, he showed up at the pond and put it in my face.
At 5 am, I consider that 15 is the Autumn of youth.
Just the other day, I was forced to go down into the cellar, in search of hanging files, where I found, discarded, on what had once been a train table, the remnants of his childhood.