The Midnight Sun Shuts Off

God damnit! How much time have I wasted ironing my clothes?
I’m hungry.
Glass clock hanging above the door tick-tocking away for no one in particular, not even for itself. I’m staring at the door below, thinking. I’m thinking and staring at the door below. I can feel the door knob turning before it actually begins to turn, like a premonition right before something bad happens. The door knob turns slowly. It’s 3 a.m. and the doorknob is turning slowly. Was it because I was staring at it? I notice that when I concentrate too hard on something it has a tendency to “happen”.

I remember awhile back I was wandering along the beach with my best friend around, I don’t know, 10 p.m. The soles of our shoes scraping against grains of sand that had been blown from the seashore onto the sidewalk, onto the road, into the grass. We were walking under these glowing streetlights that gave everything and everyone a yellow hue. The town was quiet, the air warm, the breeze fresh. I pretended to listen to my friend talk, all the while contemplating these golden glow magical streetlights. I came up with a silly name for them, I considered them to be like “midnight suns”. I looked up into one of the lights, stared into it, searching for a filament behind the glass. I wondered for a moment if I would go blind staring at this light in the same way they say you will go blind staring at the sun.

Is it true? 

I half asked myself, half asked the streetlight. Suddenly, the light shut off, dead. It was as surprising to me as if someone had shut off the real sun. Just like flipping a switch. The white afterglow halo hovered as a solemn reminder of the life that once dwelled within. I’m still not sure if by shutting itself off, the light was attempting to reply to my question. And if it was, was it responding with a “yes” or a “no”? What the hell am I talking about? Damn, my friend is still talking, he didn’t even notice. What the hell is he talking about? I reached up and put my arm around his shoulder, he’s tall, and I said “let’s just get a pizza or something”. 

The doorknob stopped turning. No footsteps outside, no voices. Clock tick-tocking. The movement of the doorknob has brought to my attention just how still everything else in the room is. Movement and stillness cannot coexist. Rooster outside, what an ugly sound it makes. The room is heavy with stillness but the clock reminds me that time continues to pass. But the two cannot coexist, so I choose the heavy still atmosphere.

Be gone, clock! Be gone, time! Be gone, tick-tocking! Be gone, doorknob! Street light!   

-Zac Herman

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