I go to see Petra in the afternoon and we have a smoke outside while her dog tries unsuccessfully to herd the children playing a pickup game of soccer in the square. Inside, we talk about opera and get stuck at Carmen ("Habenera" is a total earworm but I don't know the words) until it's killing us so she turns on Spotify, and it's Satie which is better. We talk about vanity and travel and memory and boys, but not so much that it gets boring. In the late afternoon, I walk home by the store and stop in. It's a madhouse of people coming home, children screaming, a couple of drunk possibly homeless guys who are clearly taking the unpredictable weather quite hard. And me. I know it's the worst time to be there and also that I shouldn't be, since I can shop any time, and I apologize silently to the shopping cart that someone has abandoned in probable frustration and think about David Foster Wallace and transcendence. I get home and make dinner, noodles and vegetables, and work for another hour. It's still light out though it feels like rain's coming. When I can't focus on the screen, I decide to do something else, accomplish at least something. I take apart the broken shower head, managing to drop a nut down the drain despite (I thought) blocking it. In the end I use tools to fix one minor problem but not the main one, and I find a replacement for the bolt, which is a miracle, and I actually repair the main problem with a toothpick wedge, which won't last forever but a little while is longer than nothing. Wash the dishes, bring in the laundry in case it rains, water the basil in case it doesn't. Small necessary tasks. I'm thinking about the universal nature of chores, maybe Louise Erdrich. Answer email, read the news, try not to cry; cry anyway. I fall asleep reading in bed and wake up at 1 to turn off the light. In the morning I finish the project I was working on, check my tickets and head to the station early to beat the summer storm that starts just as I get there. I left my umbrella at Dee's so I buy a new one from the market under the station, where there's a string quartet playing something, I don't know, it's nice. The umbrella might last less than a week if it keeps raining like it is now, with gusts of wind. On the train I get a coffee and make small talk with the two guys in the compartment, who are from Congo and have spent the day in Prague admiring the architecture. One of them has the pimpest shoes I have ever seen, covered in gold studs. In Vienna I buy my ticket for the subway like a pro and get to the Museumquartier in time to watch people milling in the open passageways, trying to find cover from the rain. Now I am thinking about Isherwood. It's colder than I planned for and I am damply miserable but a woman looks sadder than me so I point out the one tiny patch of blue in the sky and say "hope" and she smiles at it with me under the eaves for a minute, rain pooling in our shoes. At the venue I find the only bathroom in Europe that has not replaced paper towels with the power air dryers that turn my hands into my grandmother's. I squelch into my seat and then everything disappears into percussion and light and now and nostalgia. Share the same space for a minute or two. When I get to the station for the last bus out, the sky has cleared. I'm the only one waiting. We pull into town 30 minutes early and I walk home under a full moon.