The Sights of Night

Sprung darkness marks light,

when so swift dawns night,

feet echo past light and sight.

The bright might of feline eyes,

out of sight under human skies,

scrutinize under shadowed guise.

Shadows of Moths

Having spent all day indoors, I decided to venture outside to make sure the rest of the world was still around. It was, and the fresh air felt like a pillow being  pushed up against my face.

I breathed it in and noticed my neighbor peering at me from his balcony. He and his 70’s mustache are always out there; I’ve always wondered how he has resisted the urge to play with his phone or go inside to stare at a screen. When the robots take over and pay us in internet usage privileges, He and his mustache will be peering stoically at us from some mountain, cloaked in brown robes. I drew my head back in and grabbed a collection of short stories by Nabokov. The orange streets light right outside my house poured over the stairs to the house upstairs. Reading under it seemed extremely tempting for some reason.

Another neighbor, the meek one with the meek name I can never remember, slithered  through the path to his house and stared from the corner of his eyes. I lower my head but returned the glance. He slipped away into the shadows, the curious fellow. I noticed the black railing of the stairs I was sitting on were wet and the blue house directly opposite had be colored a darker shade of blue by the rain. I scanned the road and listed to the vehicles surge past on the main road, just out of view.

I realized I hadn’t read a single line and that the shadow of a moth buzzed across the pages bathed orange light. I put the book aside and looked for the moth under the street light.

Sounds

After  walking the long winding maze of streets that were filled with loud cars and people, the chirping crickets sounded like aliens.

You could still hear the bikes rushing past, the shopkeepers and customers talking, and the food shops frying the nights special, as you enter the street. The street seemed like a lifeless world without the buzz of electric lights or voices that carried out from within the homes around its flanks. If electricity was still supplied, this street along with three others would surround and guard the park and fill it with voices, as though the patch of greenery was a great marvel meant to be protected, preserved.

You could hear footsteps and people brushing aside the low hanging branches as they made their way away from the park. There was only one person walking in the opposite direction at any given time, so even if the night left you blind you’d hear footsteps and know where not to go. A man left the park and walked into the street, his dog’s chain clinking as they darted to and fro, lead forward by excited sniffing.I heard his feet scrapping along the road and crushing leaves long after he disappeared from underneath the dim moonlight.

I heard a group of kids in the park huddled around a single bench. They argue with each other for more space in hushed voices. Another dogs, which has no chain, is busy turning over rocks, kicking up leaves and wining excitedly. One kid, who sounds young, keeps repeating in Kannada that his uncle has a phone and he wants a rematch. An old couple sit on the elevated foot path murmuring to themselves.

On the left I see a woman open her squeaky window, she lights a match and goes back in.A group of Rajasthani women clothes as loud as their voices have what I mistake to be a yelling match with other Rajasthani women in cramped apartments. As their laughter carried across the streets and echoed off the houses, I realized they were just having a conversation. An old couple who looked a lot like the two who were sitting murmured as they pointed at the women.

I reached the end of the street and heard someone bounding up their stairs. the power came back on as I walked back. TV’s came back on, the now nosy street and park gained a renewed vigor. Lights and people buzzed about me. It was still quite in comparison to the main street, but not as silent as it was before.

I could now see people in their homes. They like the noise, seemed to heave come from no-where. An Enfield purred and another in response. I walked off the street and all the street’s nosises were drowned out.