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Driving home after night conferences

March 25, 2021

I’ve forgotten how dark it is.

I’ve forgotten how the black surrounds, like a blanket tucked in around the edges. How quiet the world feels when all I can see is the road stretching as far as my headlights.

I’ve almost forgotten that my car has brights, that I can flick my wrist to bump a lever and suddenly the road stretches ahead farther. A prick of headlights appear ahead and I remember more. Now I have to turn off the brights. Right. Like riding a bicycle, it’s coming back, wobbly.

It’s drizzling, ever so slightly, and I’ve forgotten that, too–the way the sporadic streetlights turn the tiny drops on my windshield into a galaxy of golden stars…..until I pass out of the streetlight’s circle and the drops are once again invisible.

I’ve forgotten how, at the same time, the darkness both makes the world feel unsettlingly unfamiliar and comfortingly close.

I’ve forgotten how the night draws in, until there is just me, just my car, and the road that stretches to the edge of my headlights.

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  1. Lainie Levin permalink

    Oh, those long nights during and after conferences. I always love the conferences themselves: hours to tell my parents how much I love their kids. But at the end of the day we emerged energized yet COMPLETELY drained, and often disoriented to be making our way home from school so very late. Here’s wishing you a night of rest – you’ve earned one.

  2. Such lovely images. I don’t often drive in the dark, so I could feel myself in your car experiencing this moment.

  3. Wow. Your words are beautifully crafted to bring me right into that car with you. Truly lovely.

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