On what is otherwise a cool and cloudless night, the cement and flesh concoction that is our city swirls into a hot mass. The mass is called here, or now. Entropy. Now, then, or there. The city is gone. A boiling goo emerges. The mass emits a glow to illuminate all its surroundings – a glow born out of the sudden mixing of irrevocably unlike and totally disparate parts into a molten whole. This light is at once sharp and dull, clarifying and confounding. It shines on all the broken parts and scattered pieces, showing us where to pick ourselves up. Revealing where to let ourselves go.
People often hide from the glare. Scared of going blind from ultraviolet exposure, or from simply seeing too much, they wear glasses of opaque tint for protection. But after living with the light for some time, many find it useful – if not still jarring. They gather it, seek to accumulate and even control its fiery consistency. And they do – fool and genius alike. Neither removes their blinding shades.
They hold the light, quell the molten masses. Then, something remarkable: these people begin to fall in love. That which illuminates so much for them also, unwittingly, captivates its audience. Then, they are trapped, held by holding on too hard. The people dance around the light – the fragments of a chaos long since forgotten – and meet one another under its steady gaze. And the light dances around the people, unrelenting in its dream to, at long last, be free.
On the best nights, the fire of the light washes over the pristine flesh and sullied garments of its would-be captors. The fight between the light and dark is palpable on these nights – its energy infecting the atmosphere with an eagerness felt in the muscles of the abdomen, groin, and legs. The people leap on each other – screech, shriek, fight, and play. An eagerness of reaching toward and reaching out but always in vain, never quite grasping what was most sought after. Such nights clarify the important matters left otherwise unattended during the daylight hours: namely, the unwavering significance of life.
The shock of this realization came to a slow boil until it reached a violent simmer. Then, quickly, the siren call of frustration and fear leaps out from the new city’s new districts, blocks, and buildings. If life is so significant, what is to be done?
And so, they meet. Well, the most serious of these people. They gather around each other in walled-off rooms, each person organized among a group and each group organized among a whole. They converse, demanding an answer to the sudden resurgence of an exiled passion. They converse around pools of light, and their silhouettes are made visible on walls and windowpanes. From the new city’s sidewalks and streets, one can see the curves of their spines, the shaking of hands and heads, the accusatory pointing of a finger. We can even make out their moments of argument and those of unwanted silence.
For the less serious, the night of lights-of-the-night brings them outside. It pierces their bodies and totalizes their hearts. It sheds them of the opaque shades. It refracts their deepest desires and most intimate dreams. It awakens their spirits and they allow the awakening to carry them outward. Their hands get closer to the ever-elusive dream of being free. Their hands get closer to one another’s. But not without a cost, for the least serious of people are also those who see most clearly that they are, in fact, alone. In the loneliness of the human body, and amidst the chill of the evening’s breeze, the light takes hold once again. The light takes hold without the human ambition to control it, for these creatures now know no purpose in the hollow plans they see being concocted by their neighbours indoors. So, those who brave the cool night, those night crawlers tracking on the skin of a fresh new town, metabolize the light into each and every one of their cells. Inhaling its warmth and exhaling a vapour evanescence.