the second

[i'm sitting on my porch, enjoying the weather. it's 79 degrees,  with a slight breeze, 9:20pm. the freeway traffic is creating an interesting sound texture in the distance. closer is the low hum of neighbor voices, with intermittent higher pitches of children playing. even closer are birds. i wonder what they're doing out this late. probably what i'm doing -- enjoying the night as long as they can. here's a account of the last hour. i know it's long; read it if you'd like to vicariously experience a simple lovely night.]

i left fhe late tonight.

i had been talking with a small group of friends, and knew i had stuff to get done,
but wanted to feel their social presence for a little longer.

upon leaving the building, though, i realized that it was a beautiful night.
i said my goodbyes, got in my car and started to drive home.

it was nice to see neighborhood residents walking or jogging.
i was glad that others were actively appreciating this night's perfection.

as i rounded the corner to my street, i was facing the setting sun,
though i could only partially see it.

i couldn't let that go to waste. i kept driving.

i drove past my house, and out of my neighborhood.
i decided i needed to see the sunset tonight.

it was going fast, so i quickly ventured to the nearest road
that i'd be able to see its full beauty unobstructed.

i drove that road, turned and drove on another road which let me face the sunset directly. it was beautiful. the sun wasn't as bright as it usually is, so i could make out its exact circular shape.

it looked...warm. 
as in, pleasant and inviting.

so i drove closer to it.

the windows were down,
and i sang to my summer night driving music.

turned on another road, and another, and continued to watch it.
finally, i had gotten to the road where i would be able to watch it
without houses or trees disrupting it.

i could tell this drive wouldn't be as short a drive as i'd planned.

the sun was going down fast, and to my dismay,
it silently escaped behind the mountain
within seconds of me finally finding that road.

a part of me wished i'd have left fhe earlier.

my eyes were glued on the place where the sun once was;
it was almost as if it disappeared in the same spot it had been,
rather than moving lower out of my view.

and in its place, there was a warm orange glow,
a brightness which generated from the location i'd last seen the sun.

i don't know why it intrigued me so much;
it's like i almost thought that the more i watched it,
the more likely it would just appear again.

i found myself wanting to freeze this atmosphere 
and just bask in it for a while.
i realized the sun would obviously appear again,
but only it'd be tomorrow.
and i'd have to look for it in a different place in the sky.

still, i mourned for the moment that was fading so quickly,
though it wasn't entirely over.

so i just tried to focus on the moment
and soak it all in, as best i could.

when i usually drive along this road,
i only go to a certain point before stopping and turning around.

but tonight, i kept driving.
didn't really even think about it.

just kept going. 

singing to my music sometimes, and sometimes letting it sing to me.
i turned off onto an unfamiliar rural road
that led me closer to the remnants of the sunset, 
and kept driving. 

turned again.

into a neighborhood,
(and was a bit chagrined) 
but kept going.

turned again.

and then i realized that these roads were slightly familiar to me; 
i'd been here once before. 
fueled from the recognition, 
i drove with more confidence. 

it led out of the neighborhood,
another rural road, 
with a field on one side 
and not much on the other. 

i thought about stopping
so that i could concentrate fully on the last bits of color in the sky, 
but i had the feeling that the speed of the car
and the wind in my face
was helping to make this experience one that i needed. 

it was steadily getting darker, 
though i was still headed toward the direction of where the sun had been.

i started to feel a tad uneasy, 
but pushed that away and kept driving.
shortly after, i couldn't push the feeling away completely, 
but the road was too narrow to turn around.

decidedly, i looked for a place to turn.
when i found one, i pulled over and turned off my music, 
then turned my car around. 

i noticed that my car had been
fighting against me a little tonight; 
she's old and i push her too much sometimes. 
but she's patient with me, and will assist in my adventures as much as she can.

it had been too much for her tonight.
though i could only tell when i stopped to listen to her. 
so i turned around and drove back in silence, 
listening to my car 
and my thoughts
(which i had been so careful to drown out earlier). 

when i got back to the familiar neighborhood, i saw a friend drive by, 
which was completely random because
this was far away from my neighborhood. 
i had come to a stop sign when he drove past me, perpendicular to my direction. 
i turned left and ended up behind him. 
he didn't see me. 

we got onto a main road when he took off.
i had the urge to speed up to catch up to him.
i don't know why; it's not like i wanted to stop him and say hi or wave or anything. 
not tonight, at least.

then i felt the protests of my poor car,
so i slowed and really tried to listen to her. 
it was hard, but she drove better when i stopped trying to push past her limit. 
(i've always thought my car is a lady in gender). 

eventually we ended up at the same light
as my friend. then he turned, and i kept on straight.

eventually, i turned here
and there
and there

back to familiar places. 
into my neighborhood
and onto my driveway. 

which brings me here. 
on my porch. 

it's dark now, and
my back hurts from being slouched over my laptop.

truth be told, when i first drove past my house tonight,
i almost turned around again so i could grab my running shoes 
to enjoy the night. 

but i knew that my injuries couldn't handle that yet, 
so i drove. 
though it wasn't fast, 
i needed that speed.


in other news, i wore red lipstick today. 
and i am staring at a very large black cat across the street.


--jeff * said...

thank you for writing this.

i like the flow of how it's written; it just works for this.

it reminds me of japanese paintings, how just a few strokes here or there can connote a whole range of emotions and ideas.

and i like that it ends with a cat, as well.

Zachary said...

I watched that one, too. Gorgeous.

Liz said...

red lipstick pic please?