A block east of where I stood along this cactus-fringed road tonight, a streetlight cast a yellow inverted cone toward the dirt.
I stand well outside the light.
A few months shy of 40, before the last millennium ended, I walked a night mile through clouds of gnats backlit by a lone streetlight in Oklahoma. Obligations pulled in several directions. Checotah, on the Canadian River floodplain, was where those pulls reached equilibrium. I stood watching the streetlight aeroplankton for some hours.
At 17 it was an inverted cone of illuminated rain, six in the morning in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, no rides coming and soaked to the shivering skin. I knew no one within 250 miles.
And again in Cheyenne, five years later, sleeping in the weeds when the rides gave out. I read Bradford Angier under the Interstate’s sodium vapor aura until my eyes crossed.
So many miles, and it is all the same. All the same. Light cast down upon the earth. I stand outside it.