Last Night

I left the party. Left the warmth, the light, the subdued buzz of bodies gathered around the kitchen table sharing stories late into the night. I began my walk and was quickly overwhelmed by the stinging wind whipping against my parka. I pushed through the wind and over Sehome hill (well, sort of around rather then over). What kind of folks walked these sidewalks tonight?

A couple, dressed for an occasion not befitting their midnight stroll, clung tightly to each other as the chill evening blew right through them, irregardless of improper garb and dress.

Friday night in this sleepy college town saw only a handful of cars inhabiting the roadways. Stoplights stayed green or red, the traffic patterns electronically set for a quiet car less night in the dead of winter. But this winter night was anything but dead. It was one descriptive verb after another but definitely not dead.

I passed Joes Gardens, the rows turned over in anticipation of the spring plant. The rows would have to wait. Spring was still a few months away. Further down the road whirring lights rushed by me, alternating reds and blues warning all of danger! More lights up ahead, sedentary and forming a giant peace symbol. ‘Twas the season for peace. I wished for four seasons instead of just one.

The cops cruised by, flashing a spotlight as they passed. One turned around, drove by me again. No doubt suspicious of me and the time of night I chose to propel this bag of bones through the wind and darkness. What dark deeds might I be up to?

Fairhaven came and went. One empty intersection with papers blowing across its motor less expanse. The bridge delivered me safely, as it had for many who came before, across the ravine and over the stream to the other side of town. The hill to home came in sight and I watched the fluorescent lights of the city clash with the reflective glow of a hidden but almost full moon.

The night ended, or began, with a tug of the door into my apartment, heat cascading from within. This was the last walk home. Or at least the last walk home until I chose to wander away again.


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