9:15 pm in the summer

The trees are dark shapes that look more like the blackest clouds. The sky is that perfect indigo blue with just a little bit of glow as the sun disappears. It's not too dark yet but all the buildings are already lit up. Street lights sparkle. Cicadas sing. The heat dies a little and lets a cool(ish) breeze float through it. Everything is still. Even on a busy street, the night feels still. As I walk inside, I can hear people laughing as they stroll down the street together. Distant sirens break through a few times, competing with the quiet. Air conditioning units hum, working hard.

It's the perfect night for a sad song. A song about ailment, about pain, about memories, about dying. About grieving. About little moments that stick out with that person for no particular reason. Those little moments that no one else would remember or even think significant. Those sensory details feeling as real as they did that day.

There's something about night drives that calms but also antagonizes. They never seem to be long enough, but if I keep going, I'm just wallowing. Night drives never bring resolution. They just prompt the fountain of emotions always hiding right beneath the surface, ready to bubble up at any moment, whether provoked or not. Crying helps, but makes it worse. It releases, but suffocates. The other side of crying always leaves me overwhelmed but too spent to do anything about it. My mind feels the frustration but refuses to confront it. It's kind of like sitting on the beach with your chair positioned just close enough for the waves to hit your feet. But then the water keep inching closer with each reach away from itself. You want to get up and move your chair back, but ugh. You already placed it perfectly once, it's too much trouble to do it again. So you either give up and go back to the dry sand, or you give up and let the waves cover you more and more.

I'm dreaming of colder days. Bundling up feels safe. Warm drinks, snuggled with someone feels right. The rush of cool on your face when you go outside, invigorating. Those are my days. October, November, you are too far away. So I guess for right now, it's just me and Sufjan at 9:15 pm in the summer.