easy nights

I have beautiful nights often.

I love being outside at nighttime no matter what the weather. The less clothing, the better.

This time, a few weeks ago, I was in the city.

Friends who have me stay over know that I walk at night. I’ve stopped doing that in the mountains ever since the time I caught the flashing eyes of a cougar in my headlights after a late night solo stroll.

But in the city, I feel safe. In fancy neighborhoods with quiet streets, manicured lawns and long driveways after dark. That I am so free and frivolous just steps away from unassuming people brushing their teeth, checking their email…this only adds to my amusement and excitement.

I remember that night smelled like bonfire and I could hear the muted noise of a backyard gathering. As I moved on, the lilacs seemed so alive. On every corner, the color of them stood in relief against a night that was mostly black, grey and the gold of the street lights.

I twirled down the empty streets, singing softly to myself, twisting a sprig of spring flowers between my fingers overhead, enjoying their fresh smell and the warm, windy night. A breeze ran its fingers through my hair.  I love having long, dark, flowing hair.

Also, I feel sometimes like I absorb midnight through my skin. It feels like the slow blush of bourbon, deepening in intensity the longer any bare part of me is exposed to the night air.

I walked for an hour, stopping for minutes on end to hold my hand out under the dancing shadows the lilac bushes cast like lace over the pavement.

I can’t help but giggle and laugh to myself at times like these. I’d been in the ER twice that month. Ever the escape artist, here I stood, strolling, smiling, singing, dancing while everyone slept and I with not a care in the world. A moment frozen in time.

These experiences are what luxury means to me. Purring, pure color, heightened sense moments of being aware of every sensation within a waking dream.

I hope in some other reality, there is now the ghost of a girl with midnight in her skin, singing softly, gaily strolling those streets after dark for eternity and whatever comes after.

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