A walk in the night

I went for a walk tonight. It is amazing how the world changes at twilight. It is as though the world we know has been stolen, replaced with a world of shadow. Even the smells change: musky, punky wood scents wafting over the ubiquitous sweetness of grass and plants.

As I began my walk, I enjoyed the in-between silence when people have gone to sleep and the cicadas, katydids, and crickets have yet to begin their symphony. In the silence, I caught a firefly. Unlike most fireflies, it stayed with me for a few minutes, content to rest and glow on my hand.

My first stop was a bridge overlooking the interstate. I have never before walked on it and looked over the railing. For some reason, my heart urged me on to explore. The bridge shook lightly as cars sped under it. There is a shrinking sensation as an 18-wheeler growls in bass as it passes below you, metal rail vibrating as though trembling at a great beast beneath it. Vertigo hit me hard as I peaked over the edge.

I walked from the bridge to a nearby school. As I walked, the waning moon glowed an orange-red, before being devoured by black clouds as though a lava flow disappearing below cooled lava. Suddenly, the black clouds smoldered red. Pele fought for a moment before returning to slumber, the clouds returning to black, edges gilded by the gold moon.

I ended up in a soccer field — a flattened plateau of an area stretched out well beyond it. I laid down in the grass and watched the clouds and stars. The clouds drifted listlessly, seemingly marble statues of cotton — unmoving, grey and white, making the stars seem to be specks of metal debris floating on a river of brackish water, glinting by some unknown light.  I laid in the damp grass and just watched. I sat up after what seemed twenty years, feeling a bit like Rip Van Winkle. My legs shuddered that dance unique to those returning to solid land after boating.

I began my way home. As I walked along the road, a car screamed past. I noticed something on the road as I continued. A lightning bug that must have been hit by the car. It lay near the yellow lines, glowing steadily. I checked it with my finger; it moved only briefly before stopping. Even in death, it shined. How like fireflies we are, may be…

On my way home, I stopped by the baseball field near my house. I sat down on the bench and was watching the stars (again…). Suddenly, I noticed my hoodie glowing on the inside like some pulsing, grey jack-o-lantern. I unzipped it and surely enough a firefly had found its way inside. It crawled around for a bit on me before flying away. A lovely ending to a great night.

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