Every now and then, when you’re driving along a dimly lit highway with the windows down, or staring up at the skies in Wyoming or some deserted state, or standing on a mountain looking over the earth curve, unable to decipher tree from tree, much less person from person, you realize how big the world actually is.

How after midnight, each gas station, each street light gets more and more surreal, less and less of a being and more of an energy. How it doesn’t matter what college you get into, or what your parents or peers expect of you, because at any moment, a plague could creep its into civilization, like ants on a kitchen counter. We are the ants, we are not specks of dust on the Milky Way, rather dust aching on an old sedan.

It is in these moments you realize who you love, by deciding who you’re aching for in this moment. There are so many lights that shine in the night yet so many shadows left hidden, tucked in a veil behind time and space. A shadow of what could be. And though I stand in the light I am blinded by darkness, I am suffocated by all the people minding their own businesses, all the big houses, the small animals, eating other animals. The glow of traffic lights that kindly protect cities, motionless and emotionless. I am grateful to experience life, but the further life continues, the further down I go.