The sun hits my door, wall, and apartment with a ferocity that’s easy to underestimate.

I stand on the balcony, forgetting that the sun is browning my arms, face, and neck.

I don’t need TV. Life unfolds and coalesces in the parking lot, in the street, and at the train tracks. Runners, walkers, and cyclists wait their turn. Razorback Transit quickens its schedule.

A woman drove up in a minivan, smoking furiously. Her dog sat in the passenger seat, wagging its tail. The woman nervously waved “Hello” to me as the dog jumped through the passenger window and onto the parking lot asphalt. They waked up the stairs. She pulled up a window and bent to pick up the dog. She pushed it through the window that had no screen. I couldn’t discern what she was saying, so my imagination went in three different directions.

She turned, walked down the stairs, and backed up to leave. How I knew she’d turn into traffic without adequate caution, I’m not sure. The blare of a horn didn’t deter her from turning right, even though her turn signal indicated an opposite intention.

I’ve seen so many near-accidents.

The hummingbirds hover within a foot of my face, observing me as I watch them.

At 7:30, the sun sets on the horizon, a deep orange-red.

I hear the neighbors animatedly discussing the details of their mundane day.

The shelving boards I painted today baked enough in the sun to take inside, so I carried them inside and put them in one of my two unused bedrooms.

When I return, the hummingbirds dive and dance around me as the curtain of insects create a wall of sound.

I stand motionless. The one who seems interested in me most days lands on the balcony within an inch of my hand. After ten seconds, it darts up to the feeder and probes each floret of the feeder.

It darts off. By eight, the sun has bid adieu.

My solar lanterns all shine, even the one I installed on the opposite stairway today.

I’m not answering the call of the Wanderer tonight, Fayetteville. My legs ache a bit from last night’s enthusiasm and loneliness.

I’m going to turn off the lights and have a moment of gratitude.

Love, X

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