At Night


Late night, realizing that I need some groceries, and sleep does not come soon. Fresh air, exercise, that will help. Or so says the voice of reason. The rushing pace of constant thoughts of stories yet to be written keep me up. Not to mention the anxieties of not writing them and trying to push them through rusty gears of unused prose and far too clumsy writing techniques. (Seriously. Just read the past few sentences. What kind of BS writing is that?) I escape my empty bed, gear up for the road with reflectives and head out.

The city is dark, lighted up like a glittering jewel in the new rain. Black iridescent beetles fly in my wake, the hum of the pavement under my wheels. Legs pumping, my neglected muscles ache in agony, this is supposed to be getting healthy. Warren Ellis’ mixtape of unsigned artists plays in my earbuds, soundtrack to a city that really does not sleep, but shifts restless.

Passing by houses, recliners hold boob-tube guardians, cats stare out from behind screens. I see a redlight in an upper bedroom window, serpentine shadows across the ceiling. Houses are guardians with dark eyes, holding in lives, keeping out the night. I think I heard a womans laugh. Down the street, the blood orange red neon shows the stumbling players from a nearby bar.

Grocery store lights are uncompromising at midnight, no amount of makeup holds back the weariness. People are nervous at this time, who gets pancake mix and coffee creamer at midnight? This guy. I’m the one holding up the box looking at the ingredients, wondering if I could work this into a story… This guy. With more salt than pepper in his beard. Just like them, there is a good reason why they are here. Some are for party supplies, the usual, hotdogs and meats to be roasted over campfires, tonic and limes. Some are just getting off their work, their supper comes at the witching hour.

I wish the security guard at the front door a boring evening. I stop for some chocolate milk, remembering someplace that they call it blood milk, can’t remember where, but will have to look it up later.

Light rain falls, I don’t mind it, air is a little cooler, but I have to remind myself. It’s not minus 40.

Wheels hum again, legs really starting to ache, gear shifter won’t go down into the first gear, just second and third. Will have to look at that, or just leave it. How many gears can I use at once?

Further down the street, home is close. Miles Davis comes on, birth of cool.

This is part of my Saskatoon.

I’m still here,
Pearce

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