We spent our last Texas summer inside, away from the sun and the hot, still air. The sound of the cicadas stayed with us though, the sound of heat, baked into the firmament like the pattern left by a broom in concrete.
The century will turn for me when grandpa Milton passes. Him, uncomprehending, with a phone held to his ear, 100 years old. My childhood is expansive because of the psychogeography of two places- the deep creek of smashed pavement and street runoff behind my grandma Josephine’s house, and the dirt road to grandpa Milton’s lake house, canopied with wild grapevines and reverberating with the tinnitus of summer cicadas. He had built the house himself, a cellar full of potatoes from his garden, a riding-mower he let me steer, a fishing boat. Grandpa Milton and I wading into the lake together with a seining net to pull up perch and crawdads and hydrilla and the smell of muck. So many children never get to have these places and I hoard them and visit them often in my mind now and they are sheltering and vast and I will never have fully explored them.