Custer Avenue is green now with the Summer and for the most part, neighbors are friendly and watch out for each other. On the front lawns we guard each other's children and pets and sometimes stray our mower or sprinkler or snow plow to include the yards of those who might appreciate not having to do the work for once.
But as the Summer evening draws down the clouds and the greenery glows with the golden sunsetting light, the neighbors can't do anything about the invisible crunching footsteps up our walk. So distinct, and then the creak and slam of our screen door again as if someone has come home.
7:59PM Dinner on the table or our laps around the television, a long day of work and the multiple check ins with the kids who go and come from their friend's houses or just around the block one more time to avoid the heat of the house and it's weirdness. They've almost grown accustomed to it.
9:00 PM All the dogs in the neighborhood seem to be barking tonight. Some sound like wailing women in a disturbing way. Not as bad as the twitterpated raccoons from two nights ago that screamed until around 1 in the morning. The cats are refusing to come back in yet. They will have to be herded. I wonder if they sense something wrong?
9:30 PM saw a light shape dart from the hallway toward the kitchen. People sized but not in focus. "She's up early tonight." We think the light hallway person is a she. It just feels that way. She seems to like to peer at us from the first bedroom/office or over our shoulders when we are watching TV. A pop outside could be a gun, fireworks, or just a backfire but there doesn't come a second one and the dogs are quitting their noise finally.
10:00 putting the dinner leftovers away finally, the ceiling creaking starts again, following my movements from the kitchen to the living room seeming to settle in the opposite corner and a boom from one of the walls in that direction confirm it's temporary settling. Often it makes us wonder if it's just bored.
I avoid looking out the front window to see if the cat wants in yet because too often a pale face has looked back at us fleetingly. Checking if we are in it seems. Heavy curtains instead of the original purple sheers and lace ones seem to help us not see them as often but, if they are left open, there's a good chance. Especially when we hear someone tapping the glass. We tell the kids it's just the wind blowing the roses up against the house. But we aren't really fooling them.
10:15 PM The screen door creaks and bangs again but the yowling accompanying it lets us know it's just the last cat wanting in finally. Everyone's home safe except my son who calls that he is spending the night with friends.
10:30 PM It's been a mildly active day. The hall light won't turn on and neither will the one at the front entry. As we wash up, the handle on the sink needs screwing back in. It gets loose occasionally. Usually if someone hasn't cleaned the cat box in a while. It's a passive-aggressive protest, we think, at our transgression in caring for the house. We promise out loud to do it in the morning and the hall light flickers in acknowledgement but won't stay lit. She's not happy with us tonight. Hopefully our dreams will be left sweet.