Hop Along

Spring is unremarkable. Nothing important happens, except for getting used to the new job and the new house and the empty space where your fingers used to curl around a perpetually sticky hand. Somehow summer slips in when you’re least expecting it: a shimmer of heat on the trunk of a departing car, and then the people who once surrounded you drifting away like paper sailboats, features turning blurry, as newsprint does in water.

But the nights are still cool and you still open your window a few hours before you go to sleep to let the air and the racket of the crickets in. There’s a metallic edge to the calls of the insects here, as if their wings are ridged with iron. When you first settled here, where you need a breeze to get the soles of your feet soothed enough for you to fall asleep, you couldn’t get your ears to ignore the incessant chirping. The screech of tires along the intersection was a personal affront. Now, when you sleep with the window closed, the silence is stifling.

It’s true that cold air sinks. Through the window, the breeze comes, slithering on the floor, and only your toes can feel it when you hang them over the side of the bed.

Winter may be more difficult. Summer burns; winter freezes. This is a place of extremes, and it will snow. The window must be kept closed. The crickets won’t be chirping. You’ll have to get used to sleeping without them. It shouldn’t be too hard, acclimating, like one of those fancy air conditioners that detect humidity or migratory birds. You are very disappointed you aren’t a migratory bird, specifically an arctic tern. They have pretty, freckled eggs, and baby birds must grow up fast enough for parental attachment not to be an issue.

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