Walking by myself at night

I’m sure we’ve all experienced it before: that slightly nervous but exhilarating feeling you get from walking alone in the wee hours of the morning, when it seems like the partiers are passed out and the cars are all gone. I often find myself in this situation, due to a mix of brash independence and sheer chance, but I tend to enjoy the intimacy.

You may have experienced some of the thoughts that cross my mind in these solitary walks; you shoot darting glances at people who are walking on the other side of the street, hoping to God that they don’t cross over to your side because you don’t want to be worried. You consider what would happen to you if you got jumped, and if you’d be ready. You calculate the possibility as improbable but it sits at the back of your mind anyways.

You pull your earbuds out of your ears just to hear the sheer lack of cars, to soak in the thick silence. You marvel that the streetlights still churn in their endless cycle, directing empty streets and ushering the lamplight safely through intersections. You wander into the middle of the street, just to feel like a rebel, even though you know that you could hear a car coming from a kilometre away. You briefly consider lying down on the dotted line, but evaluate the idea as silly and time-consuming.

You look up at the sky a lot, more than you usually do. Sometimes you’re looking up into a swirling frenzy of snow and trying to reverse engineer its ability to appear from seeming nothingness. Other times, you note the absolutely unnatural colour of the sky with a sense of foreboding. Burnt orange, darkened lavender.

It’s times like this when you almost feel like you’re intruding on something special, something planned, the poised bows hovering above the strings waiting for the conductor to start. You can almost hear the dreams and nightmares of hundreds of stressed university students wandering through the streets, watching for a hint that someone can hear them whisper.

It’s undoubtedly eerie. And oddly soothing.

And when you finally get home and slip into bed, it’s easier to drift off and let your dreams join the others wandering the streets.

Originally published at justclary.tumblr.com.

Like what you read? Give Clarisse Schneider a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.