I was cranky on the phone with my mother in the late morning. I blame it on hours of outrageous droning machinery that began before I was awake. They are putting in the pool at the house on the corner. In the afternoon I’m writing in my daily notebook. I can hear the construction workers yelling to make themselves heard over a new machine, an incessant whining at one of the houses closer to me. There is a small breeze. I want to savor the way the air feels against my skin. One lone dove is enjoying the birdseed in the big tray feeder, but I can’t hear her over the noise. The sound drills holes in my head. All day I brace against it. Even when I try to surrender, to let it wash over me and away, its teeth chew on me. Even now, when I turn to admire a goldfinch perched on the fence, the machine, the yelling, intrude. Now there is another sound, an endless grinding from the house nearest me. Polishing the cement? My right temple throbs. In the unexpected gap between assaults, everything softens. I hear the quiet sounds of the doves pecking in the feeder, two of them now. I hear the pwitter of dove wings, two more flying to the neighbor’s carport, queuing up for their afternoon meal. I take the first full breath I remember taking since the day began. I sink more fully into my chair. One day the construction will be over.