The summer is settling in. The moon is easing down to sleep in the trees, even as the stars step back into the dark country of space. They look like a small cluster of island villages in the North Sea, seen from an airplane at night.
A fox, interloper here in the middle of a city not yet overrun by the swelling chorus of cicadas singing summer's requiem, does its solitary, long-legged Mardi Gras dance down an empty street.
These are, I suppose, precious days in the middle of a man's life. If you're going to find yourself at the crossroads it's nice to have such pleasant diversions while you mull your options, nice to still have options, to still sense the road forking off in so many directions wherever you happen to find yourself.
Take your time, the night says, it's yours, even if there's less of it now than there was yesterday, than there was last summer. Take your sweet fucking time.
It's hard to imagine, on an evening like this, that there's a single thing out there to be afraid of, or that all your failures add up to anything but a series of minor follies. It's all frankly hard to imagine: this life, this world, the world stretching to the horizon in the darkness and out into space beyond even the most distant stars.