When it gets dark in my suburban town, it's as if nothing else exists except my dim lit room. I peel back my curtains sometimes to peek out at the winter night. Yes, it's late April and it still feels like winter. Everything is dark but the dim lit lights of other people's rooms like mine, from a couple of streets over. Sometimes I need to get out of my head, and I would have to read a book or write a story. You know how much time you spend talking to yourself inside your own mind? Literally all the time. When I write about the suburban night--the way its quietness is made up of a near constant hum of the distant highway--I am filled with a strange calm.
I like to picture this landscape existing outside of my being completely, full of an indifferent and mysterious force. Tonight I noticed the sound of a train going by a few miles away. It's funny how I am not surprised by the sound because I probably hear it all the time, but it's as if it's the first time I notice myself hearing it. And I guess that's the way we do a lot of things, doing it with the motions and out of reflex without really realizing what we are doing.
I picture that train going by in the darkness, the nothingness, just a line of tiny lights in the horizon somewhere. The operator of that train almost dozing to its rhythmic mechanics. Perhaps the train disappears into a dot in the horizon, perhaps it goes until the crack of dawn, and the operator sighs at the quiet and beautiful moment the sun rising.