A Long Walk’s Digression

Some walks home are just like that….

Day and Night

My day is gone.

Darkness and dust dog my steps, before me and behind me like a windblown carpet.

I had forgotten the nightborn desolation around me. I wince, sounding like a midnight Pullman car, clanking determinedly towards the crossing. I wonder, what else have I forgotten of the night? Asphalt gives way to gravel unseen and I stumble, the impact shuddering up my left side. In the field beyond the tumbledown fence stray dogs howl from the shadows. I almost laugh at God’s lack of subtlety. He’s lost his touch. I won’t fall again.

The scents of sleepless factories beckon me forward, soap and soda pop, as I pause to look at the starry sky and rub uselessly at my knee yet again. My jacket is too heavy for the weather. I sweat and huddle deeper in the black suede. I know a good part of this pain is psychological, I know a good part of this fear is physical. I have bought toys to keep it at bay, to marginalize it. I know I have become weak, I know I have been diminished. I know I can’t change that. Ever.

The speeding lights of the highway seem to recede as I watch. I hate optical illusions. I hate going socially, civilly mad.

By day I have talked a good fight, I have stood my ground, I have failed and gone on, I have done my part for good and ill, I have sheltered and counseled. All those earnest days…

All those days cannot make me less alone in even a single night.

I walk onward through the echoes of evenings past and future. I walk until they fade. Slow and resolute as the moon.

I finally stand in the pool of the streetlight watching six lanes hurtle past my night.

I stand for quite awhile.

It will be day again…

Eventually.

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