restless. tossing. turning. sweating. eyes closed. ten minutes pass. or is it an eternity? i look at the clock. 4:00. it’s only 4:00. go back to sleep. close your eyes. nobody’s watching you. you’re the only one in the room. just you and your dogs. don’t think about it. stop thinking. don’t think. let yourself drift. back. where you just were. away from this room. out of the windows. back into the night.
and there you are. again. in the room. only now someone’s hogging the bed. someone intruding. taking up your side of the bed. a childhood friend. all grown up. haven’t seen him in years. that’s odd, i don’t remember inviting you here. maybe if i close my eyes he’ll go away and i’ll have the bed back to myself. i wish he’d just scoot over. i’ll keep my mouth shut and hope he’ll read my mind. i don’t want to be blatantly rude. i haven’t seen him in years.
we’re both awake now. the lights are on. the room is orange. and there’s an infant sitting on his lap. smiling. giggling. we join in. giggling is contagious. and so is love.
“love,” i say. “can you say ‘love’?”
the baby giggles and responds, “that word.”
my friend looks over at me and says he’s sold his organs for $50. classic move. he hasn’t changed one bit.
my window is cracked and i can feel the crisp breeze gently whooshing in. i want to be where its coming from. i want to be outside.
i feel the need to look up at the sky. something big is happening. something we usually don’t see. something carefully hidden. something that chose to make itself visible. right now. a glitch in our reality
a lion’s face lights up the sky. almost like its being projected on to a screen. and the screen is the night sky. captivating. enchanting.
the sound of helicopters and chaos echo in the distance. but that’s in the distance. i wanna get outside and catch a glimpse of the night sky before it switches back to how we’re supposed to see it.
i waste no time, climbing out of the crack in my window and on to the street outside my house.
it’s the middle of the night and all the neighbors are out to see this phenomenon. almost like we’re being summoned by the sky. neighbors i’ve never seen before. there’s a sense of urgency. soak it all up before it disappears.
i rush to the parking lot behind my house to get a better view. along the way i notice the time written down on the sidewalk in rainbow chalk.
four twenty something
they have tents set up. my people. they’re all wearing colorful costumes with body paint and glitter. and i’m wearing pajamas. but nobody seems to mind. it’s a celebration. a festival. how lucky am i to witness this in my neighborhood? in my back yard?
drums and flutes are humming in the distance. overshadowing the helicopters. all of these people are so welcoming and friendly. and so bright. like the stars. like the pictures in the sky. i don’t know what to do other than look up at the sky. that’s what i’m here for, right? they laugh and hand me proper eyewear. and invite me underneath their tent. we dance.
been here all along,
every night. coming out to play
only after we’ve drifted,
away they go
only then is it ok