I remember running with you, creature of the night.
Not in dark places, but under dark skies. We would dart in and out of the light. Past the houses… correction: past the homes, the places where others were. Voyeur in the literal sense when someone left a window open, a curtain pulled back, or a door ajar. But voyeur in a meta sense – we passed through their lives, moved through their turf, not so silent, not so unseen, but unnoticed. Inconsequential. And we relished in knowing that they knew not.
Its a different time, night time. A place of different sights, different sounds. The wind in the trees which is totally forgotten during the rush of the day, becomes a constant whisper on our night flights. The small noises in the quiet – a banging of a lid or slam of a car door up the block, snatches of conversation from the table or the television, the hum of the power lines. The smell of different dinners, of garbage, of sewage, of decaying leaves and dog poop, of the road different from the park different from the alleys and oh, the smell of a log roasting on coals from a backyard fire pit.
These things all, were ours. All of them, all at once. Others had a claim to one or another, but only we took them all in.
I miss the sensation of running to beat the storm, to evade detection, to get somewhere that isn’t here. And to keep moving. Our feet spinning as in a constant sprint, but sometimes our feet would stop and the world would just coast past us as we turned to see it all, experience it all. And then to focus on running again.
We’d play tag, or hide and seek, sometimes from each other, sometimes on the same side, not knowing who was seeking or from whom we were hiding. We hid from everyone, we hid from no one. We were as plain as day except it was night, and no one noticed. We made it to base safely and kept going. Going on to the next base, the next hiding spot, and you’re it again. So am I.
It was the freedom. No one knew where we were. No one knew we were here. So there was no one to lay claim to our time or our actions. Not that we were irresponsible, but we could have been, and that’s the nature of this freedom: it was care free. We knew it would end at some point, but that point could be now or it could have been sunrise, or whenever we found our way past our own home. Or the next time. Or when we were tired. When we’d had enough. Hard to imagine, now, that there ever could be enough.
Now, I sit and remember. I remember that I wish there were more. More to remember. More to come. Yet the same black canopy covers me, and the same wind whispers around me. No one chases me and I pursue, no one. I sit and no one sees me, no one notices. No one cares. It is clear that you do not, and so I guess I do not, either. Except… I remember.