A few nights ago, as it was cold and rainy, all I planned to do was sit inside. I’d spent hours studying for a math exam, and I wanted to get into bed and let someone else’s written words wash over me. I was drained, but as I hurried from my car door to my house door, I breathed in the night air. I thought about how long it’d been since I spent time outside. And I decided, never mind it’s late, never mind it’s dark, never mind it’s raining, never mind it’s cold. I’m not spending another night inside.
By Asa Lory
Eight o’ clock. I start up my street, watching trees silhouetted against the glow of downtown.
Eight ten. I pause in a street side stream, and catch water with my feet.
Eight twenty. The smokestacks greet me as I crest a hill, but they’re partially lost in mist. My feet start to get cold.
Eight thirty. I pass the power plant, but the eyes on the towers still watch me, slowly blinking red.
Eight thirty five. Campus shows minute signs of life despite the rain, but as I make my way onto Seventh Street, they fade away. The rain picks up, and I speed up to Broadway, where I duck into a pool hall to dry out my camera.
Eight forty five. On my way back home, I’m unable to resist stepping into the street to look back over the city. My lens is still wet; water is turning streetlights into sunspots. It’s getting colder and colder, or maybe the rain is finally soaking through my sweater. The wind picks up, and I hurry onward.
Nine o’clock. I take a shortcut through my old elementary school playground. Even here, the smokestacks watch through the mist. They’re a comforting sight though. Ever since I was little, I’ve felt safe anywhere in the city, as long as I can see the towers. If I can see the eyes blinking on and off, on and off slowly, I know I can find my way home.
Oh, and I’m trying out a new format for this blog post. Just click on the first picture to see the slideshow!