Back when my friend Ron Briscoe was running Edmonton's old Freedom BBS, he set up a room called the 2 to 6 Club, a place for insomniacs to post whatever profound insights they might glean during the witching hours. Here's something I wrote in that room almost 19 years ago to the day. Unlike most of what I wrote as an angst-ridden twentysomething, I don't hate this.
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have seen the wrongs I've failed to set aright.
I have ignored the beggar's pathetic plight
I have pushed the lonely problems from my sight
I too have stood on a lonely highway at night, my car and I--engine
Warm summer night, completely alone but for the stars and the trees and the
plain over that hill--
Take a walk to the top of that hill and just look and just listen and just
smell and feel and taste and be that night. You become night, living night,
banished with the day but not defeated. And the wind blowing through your
hair is a part of you and the grass under your sneakers is a part of you and
the croaking of the frog is a part of you and the baleful gaze of that stern
moon is a part of you.
It is all just you and it is all more than you can ever imagine, more than
you are contained inside you, worn on you like an overcoat.
Melodrama made real. And none of the cliches matter...because they are
Walk a little further, into the farmer's field. Stalks of grain waving back
and forth like some great living thing, one being. A little scary, but it
doesn't matter--you are the night, a part of this, and you cannot be hurt.
You can be lonely, but you cannot be hurt.
Look up. That winking star overhead--a satellite, benignly swooping by,
taking pictures of you, a reminder of the fellow men who you don't need
waiting for you with the dawn. And there, a 747, reminding you again that
there is no real escape, not now.
Soon. But not just at this moment.
You walk back to the car, open the driver's side door. Car welcomes you with
harsh interior light glare and harsher seat belt buzzer. You get inside
quickly to avoid disturbing the beautiful darkness any further.
And you sit there for a little while on the shoulder before you finally turn
the ignition key, activating the radio, the lights, the engine. And then you
pull onto the road and just drive for a while
Until Neon City looms large once more and the night whithers before human
magic and you surrender too...giving in to another twelve hour wait before the
wonder sets in again.