I didn't know where I was going that morning, or even if I was going anywhere besides 'out'. Hell, I didn't even know if it counted as morning; it was at least two hours before daybreak, and I still hadn't slept. I'd stayed up half the night watching A&E's "Pride And Prejudice" mini-series.
I wandered. The world, at this hour, is truly something to behold; the bars are all closed, so the streets are strangely silent and dark. The temptation to scream just to see if anyone would notice is almost overpowering, but there's a sort of fear of how much it will hurt to shatter that silence, the shards of it falling around you and getting in your eyes and heart. It's that strange terror that kept me from singing.
The city blocks passed with a sleepy sort of indifference. In some homes, I could see TVs on while the owners or renters stayed up late with nothing better to do. I wanted to knock on their doors and invite them on my walk, but they looked too comfortable with their little lives wrapped up around them, too long stuck in the monotony that life becomes if you don't get out and change every now and then. Once every six months. More if you're daring.
The lake my town is centered around rippled with the breeze that comes off of it, and I stopped at the railing and look out at it, pale reflection from the moon breaking to pieces in the waves. The same breeze rippling the waters ruffled my hair like a big brother, and I felt comforted by this. My long black coat swayed in the gentle wind, and I thought of the Joan Osbourne song "Man In The Long Black Coat", then imagined myself as some mysterious being, just wandered into town in the middle of a hot summer, wearing the mark of Cain and sweeping women off their feet. Again, I had to refrain from singing. Swaggering, too, because swaggering is unfeminine and would make my coat look bad.
I walked on at my leisurely pace. The bridge that crosses the river where it opens into the lake has a green railing on it, and during the day birds- swallows- swoop and dive through here, chirping as if they have something to say. Right now, however, not even the bats feel like flying, so the spiders that live between the rails are enjoying their own feasts. I hate spiders, but there's a sort of morbid fascination with this place. That, and I'm afraid that somehow, if I kill one the rest will come after me. I don't know how many there are, but I'm pretty sure I don't want the lot of them chasing me down. I shuddered as I thought about it, watched the long, spindly legs coming off the fat bodies, then turned around and hurried back up the walkway, unable to take this terrifying place anymore.
There's a walking bridge that passes over the main thoroughfare going in and out of downtown. It's wide enough for cars, actually, but it's intended for people. In the summer there are flowers growing in leaps and bounds on either side of it, so the people in the traffic- if they're looking up- can see pink and purple and white morning glories or whatever the plants are growing down at them. But since people never look up, they don't know. The people like me who walk through here get to see these things, sit on the stone benches and read or think or just sit and exist for a while. That's what life is about, after all; existing. Or isn't it?
I sat and existed and thought for a lot longer than I intended, because suddenly I realize the sky is getting lighter. I stand and look at the grocery store that isn't even a whole block and a half away- it's lights are coming on, which means it's almost time for breakfast.
I started walking towards the grocery store on the other side of town, closer to home, because their pastries are better and I can find their no brand grape soda a lot faster.
As I walked, and as the sky started to pale, I decided it was okay to sing.