Wednesday, November 17, 2004

In A Mist

My weekly soujurn to the library had a new dimension tonight. A mist, a ground cloud if you like, has enveloped the heartland for the last forty-eight hours. Not as fine as a proper fog, but enough to soften the landscape and make the street lamps glow with a præternatural sheen. As I arrived at the trail proper, gnarled oaks with finger-like limbs appear to beckon, as if they were ready to caress me with their shaggy bark. Stopping to check on the now nut-less feral cats, I quietly went into their bower and opened a can of sardines. The shadows quickly came alive, and soon a dozen felines surrounded me.

They were in their perfect element; barely visible, with the damp quieting all sounds of movement. I resumed my journey.

Past the deserted hospital grounds, into the dark pine woods, and then on to the library. I glimpsed it from about a half mile-off; it looked like a great ship—the boat of longing—lit up in the night and sailing in a sea of prairie grass. Later, when returning, the mist had lightened a bit, I could see yard lights from homes across the river, and the flashing red light atop the water tower became a UFO. I came across a man on the trail, I slowed so I wouldn’t startle him. He had been shopping and carried a plastic bag with a carton of cigarettes clearly visible in it.

“Nice night, huh?” he ventured.

“It is, a beautiful night, indeed.”

By Professor Batty


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