The news blared from the living room TV. I sat at the dining table rocking back and forth scratching at myself trying to tone out the broadcast. “Could you please turn that down?!” I begged. I hated the news.
I heard the sound quiet after my request, but it wasn’t enough. “More.”
“I can’t turn it down any more than this or I won’t be able to hear it.”
I scoffed and left the table while shaking my head. I needed to go somewhere else. I needed to be where the news reports weren’t. Hurriedly I grabbed a sweatshirt and borderline sprinted out the door. I didn’t realized I had been holding my breath until I heard myself let out a large exhale after the latch shut behind me.
I loved the chill of nights; being out here soothed me. Looking at the night sky was a better form of medication than any doctor could prescribe to me. I wandered to a lawn chair as I gazed into the sky. The scars twinkled down at me from above. It almost felt like they were winking at me, as if we shared a secret only the two of us knew. Well, only the countless number of them and the one of me knew.
I rested in the chair, but it didn’t feel right. Although the stars and chilly temperature calmed me as much as they could, it wasn’t enough. In the back of my head was a voice convincing me that I wasn’t far enough away from the broadcasting of the terrible reports. I needed to step farther away.
With shaky but sure legs I stood up and began walking. I walked through the neighbor hood. I walked deep into town. I danced and spun under streetlights, finding comfort in their warm yellow glow. I walked for a while more and accepted the not-so-welcoming barks of dogs protecting their property and the strange looks from drive-by strangers who saw me as insane for walking alone so late at night. I brushed them off; I’ve never felt so peaceful.
After a while I found myself by a lake, the water shimmering in the moonlight. I strolled to the edge of the pier to rest my elbows on its railing so I could better admire the lake. I watched its dazzling sparkles as the waters gentle waves rolled about. It amused me that at this time of night the water almost perfectly mirrored the way the stars twinkled in the sky as it danced below the moon.
I met the water at its sandy shore, letting it greet my bare feet by brushing against my toes. Slowly I eased my legs into the water, quietly shrieking and giggling at how cold it felt on my skin. I waded in the shallows for a while, holding my sandals and walking along the shore in the direction that I thought could bring me closer to home – thereby shortening my walk back. Eventually I came upon a cluster of small rocks embedded in the sand, their surface too uncomfortable to continue walking on. I surrendered back to the grass and slipped on my shoes deciding now is probably a good time to head home.
The walk back was shorter, but I still enjoyed it as much as when I set out a few hours ago. I laughed to myself, thinking back on this spontaneous little adventure of mine. Willingly I walked up the driveway of my home almost eager to be back inside. I entered to find the lights off and everything shut down; my husband must have gone to bed sometime while I was away.
The silence encircled me and I welcomed it. I welcomed the quiet of the TV, satisfied to not have to hear the news reports. I wished it could be this way forever – but I also looked forward to tomorrow night’s news-hour outing.