Once upon a time, I read that twilight was the blue hour. At the time, I didn't believe it. Now I do, thanks to a summer spent between reading, dreaming and writing whatever comes to mind- all backed with my trusty laptop and iPod.
I don't live in a huge city, just a small suburb of a suburb of San Francisco. I think we have a little more than thirty thousand people living here, although with the census just having been taken, maybe that number will change. I live in the shadow of Mt. Diablo, smack in the middle of a valley, so I see the sunrise behind the mountain. Over the summer I don't see the sunrise, my sleep schedule involves staying awake until two or three in the morning and waking up at noon. I sacrifice seeing dawn for midnight. I prefer the evening and the night anyway, and my backyard is where I view them.
My backyard is large, although I mostly keep to the square of concrete that makes up the back patio. I have this thing about bugs. On evenings, and the occasional afternoon, I'm bored, trying to ignore my father's disparaging comments or that I just need to get outside I'll grab my green nano chromatic and dream as the sun slowly sets behind the western hills.
While my iPod lets its music waft into my ears, I see the sky go from pure blue, to blue with a yellow-orange horizon, to blue then pink then tangerine. Finally, it gets to the point where you can only see a small pink rim that becomes a sky with every shade of blue in it, turning the trees to the point that they look black and the eastern sky almost purple. It is this small part of the day that I can believe in the words; it doesn't last an hour-the sky quickly takes to darker, deeper shades of blue and the bright lights hide my favorite landscape- but for the moments, I believe.
While the sky is busy changing colors, I pretend I am not me. I pretend to be skinny, in more fantastical imaginings this is always the case. I am not the twig you can snap with a gust of wind; I am the trunk it takes a winter's storm to fell. I would like to be the branch that will bend in the wind but not break, that falls with the trunk when it finally gives in. I doubt it will ever happen. I pretend I have a strong athletic ability, one thing I lack. There is only one sport I don't make a fool of myself playing, and even then, I am not the best. Running is my dreaded enemy, but my imaginings make me good at it. I pretend to be a character in a book or show; I am too old for this, I suppose, but it is this or constantly thinking about boys or clothes.
Some of my dreams during these hours I spend watching the sky are closer to home. These are the ones involving the guy I have my heart set on, and I usually stay away. My pessimistic yet fairytale way of seeing things already clouds my view; it doesn't need to be any worse. Especially since, he seems to crop up in my dreams when reality seeps in, always as the object of my affections. When I think of him I try to think of his faults as well as his virtues; the only problem is that his faults are some of mine as well. I let myself think of him, of him and me together, of what this next school year is going to bring- but only for a moment. Mixing reality with what I want to happen doesn't end well.
When the light attached to the building of the store across from the empty building that my house shares a fence with becomes too bright for me I turn around and head inside. Occasionally I'll come back out if I need to listen to a certain song, or if I've just read something that's sparked my imagination and won't let go, but once twilight is over I don't stick around.
I mentioned that one of the indicators of the blue hour is that the trees begin to look black. My backyard faces quite a few trees, several of which are palm trees. I tried to draw the way the palm trees look against the shaded blue background. I failed miserably, and I'm afraid if I try to take a picture, it will take away the magic.
Magic is what the twilight hour is really, an hour when everything is shaded to encourage thoughts of witches living among us, making you wonder what phase of the moon it is so you aren't caught outside when the moon is full- there might be a werewolf roaming the creek bed behind your house. In the hour, the ground looks blue and the cars headlights begin to shine, a prelude to stars, you can make yourself believe anything is possible. It is this hour, when looking at the disappearing sun and looking for the appearing moon, you can let your dreams run wild; at least it is for me.
I might spend my days and nights living in worlds that aren't my own because reality isn't anywhere near as exciting- but the blue hour is when my dreams stop seeming so farfetched. In daylight, they seem silly, so I hide like a vampire afraid of sunlight in the house and in the moonlight, I'm always on alert- at night I'm afraid that someone will jump the fence attached to the creek and attack me. Twilight lets me dream without worries; and let whatever faith you believe in help you if you disturb me.
My parents have a bad habit of bothering me when the scenery of the blue hour and the dreams it provokes immerses me in my own reality. They call me in to take out recycling or garbage, to bring in drinks, to see this or that on the picture box. Rarely is what they show on the TV more exciting than the loss of green from the trees or the fight between the villain and me that is currently happening in my little world- far from the 40-year-old movie or the man stuffing his face to entertain viewers. Sadly, my father rarely takes kindly to the disinterest in what he's showing me, and threatens my laptop. He simply is an old man with little imagination and no use for my other worlds.
From the time I have spent watching the sun disappear I have it engraved in my memory and painted with a thousand colors. Yet, the image in my head never lives up to the one real thing I do enjoy- watching as the blue hour come and goes.