The autumn’s recent fever had broken. What had been a lingering warming trend snapped with the spat of rain into the dark cold again. At least, dark is what I always equated the cooler air with, since I normally ended my day long after the sun, and the walk home nowadays gives a chill.
One way or another, through convoys or office work, I always missed the sunsets. Dusk had a calming way here, and held my favorite time of the day.
Through the sky’s purples and the rainy season’s scent of wet chalk, there rose the Muslim’s call to prayer from the nearby village, in shimmering vibrato and wails.
You would have to push by the nearby conversations from smokers and soldiers off to chow, but it would be there, on the breeze, in between the shifting branches of the trees. If I hadn’t heard it from outside the wire, I would have thought I was hearing things, but it was there, soft, carried farther in the night air, but barely.
On days where I didn’t miss it, I’d stand outside, looking toward the remaining light, trying to listen.
“What ‘cha doin?” I’d hear from someone. A verse lost.
“Just listening to the evening prayer,” I’d say. Damn, more notes missed.
Ah, there it was, in careful crescendo through the – “That’s stupid. Who wants to hear that crap?”
“I think it sound awesome.”
“Stupid Hajji,” and they’d walk off. Good, now back to the –
“What you lookin’ at?”
“I’m listening to the music.”
“Music? What music? I don’t hear no music…”
Never mind. I’d try tomorrow.