The Night Sky From An Uptown Porch

Power Lines in the Night Sky From a PorchI rode my bike over to N.’s tonight for Game 1. I’d been looking forward to it all day long, excited to get pizza and beer and watch some basketball where the games really count. For something. Well, it was pretty much over by midway through the third quarter, so I tuned it out and tuned in N. and S., who also stopped by to engage in sportswatchery. We spent some time outside on N.’s delicious porch, those two smoking, me trying to bang my bike’s front basket back in to shape.  (It’s never been the same since that wet-streetcar-tracks slide out and crash last fall.) After S. headed home, we just sat on the porch, staring up, smelling the night jasmine drift on the breeze. As I look at that sentence I just typed, it feels so hackneyed, but really, the smell drifts. It’s heavy in the air and moves with the wind. I took out my camera to try to capture some of the view, but there’s just no way to get the light right. This picture , taken without flash, makes the sky bluer than it is, but it does get the power lines right. They criss cross the view right above the roof. Power lines are everywhere, but we don’t normally notice them. I wonder if I’d notice if they were gone. The tree is right too, partly illuminated by the streetlight. The picture can’t capture the motion of the clouds. They’re moving, quickly, and changing shape. I could sit out there in the cool breeze (yes–the breeze was cool tonight) and concentrate on sensations for hours: the smell of the jasmine, the feel of wind on skin, the way sensations shifts as focus does. Yeah, porch sitting is one of my favorite parts of living in the south. They do porches right down here. Eventually, though, it was time to hop back on the bike and tool slowly through Uptown, attentive to changing sounds and smells. Another calm summer night in New Orleans.

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