Fireflies glide across the smooth surface of the pool and above branches of a young Bodhi tree shake as a blue jay takes flight batting its wings against the hot Texas day full across the backyard and up, up, up to perch as judge on the top branch of a leafy oak tree that’s been here much longer than us.
Natsumi takes a deep breath and exhales a cloud of smoke. Her purple sundress drenched in sunlight absorbs intoxicating heat while her pale nine-generations Japanese complexion reflects around the brilliant green life dripping over flat stone banks running the brim of an oval swimming pool dug deep down into the soft fertile soil of willow meadows occupying the far southwest corner of the city Houston.
She’s reading The Sun Also Rises, an old copy from high school with pages yellowed by a half-century’s drunken dog-eared-who-gives-a-damn. She crushes her cigarette into the middle of the page and puts the novel aside and in two athletic strides she dives at an impressive height tracing a sexy parabola that arcs just perfectly and her outstretched arms break the surface of the still water and twelve feet beneath the rippling circumference her hands find a sandpaper-like stone bottom on which she stretches out, folds her arms behind her head, and looks up at the blurry blue sky in voluminous silence.
I’m a writer from Houston.