6:58 A.M. and the party down the road is still going full force. Loud music with oom pah pah tubas, drunken voices shouting above the music. What do they celebrate? A wedding? Birthday? They are invulnerable, these partiers.
Is it the booze or their youth that raises them above the threat that those of us older shield ourselves from with masks and gloves and solitude?
Far-off dogs bark their accompaniment to the drum that pounds like a giant heartbeat. One male voice, shouting above the rest, barks barks his optimism as if to say, “It will not find any of us!” He leaves caution to that far-off world of the barking dogs and me, listening from so far above as the music swells louder and a single cock crows his harmony to the morning’s cacophony, over and over, as though to reassert his claim as the harbinger of the day.