A pensive mood often strikes me during the quiet before the dawn. In those times, the pure air smells cold, even with a scorching summer day bearing towards us. Nearly silent music glitters its way through my mind to accompany the sight of the stars quietly keeping their courses, ignorant of the coming sunrise. Their tiny brilliance fades to light specks just as infinitely deep black fades to cold grey, and then the upper clouds burst with pink and purple and the time is coming.
By then, we were well underway and settled down. All the complexities, precautions and checklists of lift-off took our necessary attention. Then, we rose, and saw the large shrink to small, and the larger yet make sense before our eyes. There were technical matters needing attention, and navigation, not by stars, but by instruments and technology. The technical matters become lesser and lesser, and finally their trivia became only an invitation to boredom. Instead, enjoy the dawn. Wazn, the often musical cat, nocturnal by nature, but diurnal by habit, chose a pillow and rested asleep while awake.
Quiet, quiet, quiet. My airships are like balloons, but they are not balloons. Balloons can be quiet: a quiet punctuated with the sudden inferno of powerful gas jets. The airships do make some sound, sometimes even continuous sound – I won’t get into it now – but compared to airplanes, trains, cars, boats, balloons, and most any other means of travel, they are quiet. At their quietest, when the wind is low but right, the quiet without relief can be suffocating. Especially as the air warms up with the morning, the heat and quiet blend into a magnificently soporific potion.
Too quiet. So, I left Wazn, a fitter expert in dealing with drowsiness than any human, alone in the Captain’s quarters, and joined the crew who had impatiently brought out the cards and tiles at their first opportunity. They love games, and hence love their jobs, as it gives them seemingly endless paid hours at their games. One loves her guitar more than the games, and was tuning it, hoping for an audience while others gambled. I accommodated her by sitting nearby with a nod. I didn’t feel like losing money to the experts this morning.
But what the warm drowsy quietness couldn’t accomplish, the gentle hum of conversation, the click of the tiles, and the strum of the guitar, did, and I fell asleep almost instantly.