It has been night every day recently. No one walks the streets around my home. I hear cars one at a time – usually loud ones, screaming by at unimaginable speeds. I can not fathom where they are coming from, or where they are off to. It’s night time; there’s no knowing what anyone is up to.
I sit on my balcony and I watch everything be. It’s night time; there’s not much doing. There is an awful lot of being. The air is crisp. The grey of the asphalt gains an eerie quality, lit only by lights that shine a bright orange. The world is black, blue, and orange. These have become the primary colours.
Most evenings, I see the crows pass by in great swarms. Crows are funny like that – it’s common enough to see one or two crows around, but every once in a while, you’ll find fifty or sixty all gathered in one tree. At night, they are always traveling north. I don’t know why.
I’m waiting for someone, is why I’m out here. They said they would return at night. They have not returned yet. That’s okay. I will wait forever.
The other morning, I saw a person just after sunrise. I had been awake all night. I was walking to the convenience store to buy a coffee and a baked good. I had chosen to eat that day. I turned the corner outside my apartment and there the person was, leaning against a wall, with one foot on the ground, and one pressed against the cement. He was wearing sunglasses. He looked cool. I was startled by the fact that such a cool-looking person was standing so near to my apartment. They seemed as if they were from a different world.
It was warm, even though the sun had just risen. There was no breeze to belay the warmth. I was still wearing my bedshirt, with a pair of shorts that I had picked up off the floor. As I walked past, I thought about my hairstyle. I thought about my bare legs. Usually, I do not mind going to the convenience store at such a time, with semi-stubbly legs and hair poking this way and that. I live exclusively at night; no one means anything to me. However, seeing such a cool person out on the street during such a time – a time when I usually had the street to myself – made me feel guilty for my lack of care. I could have put in some effort, I thought, and come out looking just as cool as this guy. But I had not. In my mind, I said, “This is because I don’t respect the world enough.”
Then I thought, is that not cool? Is it not cool to disrespect the world? I have deemed the world unworthy of my respect. I stopped, on the sidewalk. I turned around. I faced the cool person. They noticed, and turned toward me. I said, “Good morning.”
“Good morning,” they replied. They were wearing silver reflective sunglasses. I could see my whole body in their sunglasses. Seeing my body like that made me respect myself.
“What are you standing here for?” I asked. “Are you waiting for someone?”
“Huh?” He pushed himself off from against the wall, and put his hands in his pockets. “I’m just standing here,” he said.
“Did you sleep last night?” I asked.
“Did you sleep last night?”
“Yeah…” He lifted up his sunglasses to reveal a quizzical look. “I slept well, thanks.”
I laughed. This man was nothing. He lives only during the day. He knows nothing of the true world. Realizing this, I walked away. I bought my coffee, and I bought a cheese bun. The cheese was like a paste. It scared me, but I ate it anyway. When I walked home, the man was gone.
I spent the morning making bracelets by threading string through multicoloured plastic beads. I made almost a hundred. I piled them all up on the living room floor. I pored through the pile, determining which one was my favourite. I put my favourite one on my left wrist. I spent the rest of the morning taking apart the other bracelets. I fell asleep on the floor as the sun reached its apex.
I was awoken by my phone. It was ringing. I didn’t answer. I let it go to voicemail, and fell asleep again.
When I woke again, it was dark out. I remembered the call, and checked my voicemail. The voice sounded much like a bird, and it said only, “I love you.” I looked down at my left wrist, pleased with the bracelet. I went outside and sat on my balcony. The cool air knocked the sleepiness out of my eyes. The crows were all gone. I had overslept.
That brings us to tonight. I’m still on my balcony. I still have the bracelet on my left wrist. You’re wondering: Will the person I am waiting for return before this story ends?
No. They will not.