[This was originally published in Doomed to Obscurity (DtO) Issue #28 and touched up here.]
“Nights Like This”
by — DisordeR
I remember nights like this, sometimes in great detail. Sitting on the hood of my car reading a novel under a streetlight. Letting myself become part of the book, being one of the characters. Cars would pass and the pale outline of faces in the passenger side would be clear to me for a passing second. Looks of curiosity passing by one after another as a parade only I see. Another page and another minute pass by, now a part of me to some degree. Gentle breeze on a cool night almost flips the page for me. A newfound sense of purity in a world waiting to rush by.
I remember nights before those, spent with the only other person in the world I cared about. At night sitting on top of the building we lived in. Wrapped up in a blanket to shelter ourselves from the freezing wind. We looked out across the sea of the town population, marveling at the shimmering lights from thirty floors up. Everything was so tranquil below us, while our time spent above was everything. Sitting behind her, wrapped around as if one, never wanting the night to end.
I remember nights farther back, sitting in a car with the windows cracked, waiting in anticipation. My partner and I waiting hours at a time, hoping things would go exactly as planned. Stepping out of the car and having the crisp breeze crash against our faces, the best way to wake us up and focus on the business at hand. Minutes after that, enjoying the rewards of a weeks worth of planning and the satisfaction of a thorough job being done. Not for the money, not for loot, only for the thrill of beating some system of some building out there.
I remember other nights spent entirely in front of a computer screen. Chatting with friends in one window, reading mail in another. The exhilaration of invading another computer system driving you on to find new machine, new networks, new worlds. Not giving a rat’s ass about whose privacy you are invading or what law you might be breaking. Going from corporation to college to government server in the span of an hour.
On nights like this a variety of emotions course through me, an unknown method of determination the jury of my actions. Relying on the nature of chaos to guide my actions, free will my boundary, and a recklessness that can only lead to new adventure. What used to be random feelings have turned into a requirement of my life. I need that feeling every so often as it reminds me of who I am, and what I can be.
I remember the nights of pure pain and confusion. The feeling of my heart being ripped out and throw at me. Being rejected for the supposed last time, remembering the times before it. The callous attitude or facial scorn that shows she was just feeling me out, never giving me a real chance. Playing with my emotions as if they meant nothing to them or anyone else, me included.
I remember the nights spent in solitude, wondering where my girlfriend was and trying to convince myself that she was only out with friends, even though I knew otherwise. Every friend of mine had come to me and spilled the truth, sparing me no detail. It was for my own good despite the pain the short term. I cursed them on those nights, only to face realization for days following.
Nights like this remind me of the six inch metal blade getting thrust between my ribs. A million thoughts flashing in my mind as the pain seared through me. Warm blood flowed freely down my stomach and soaked into the jeans. Unforgettable is an understatement for nights like that. Yet I manage to forget it almost every week, sometimes even for months. Until nights like this come back around.
On nights like this, I am simply torn. One half of my life is a twisted set of bad events that continue to plague me. The other half of my life could be used to draft up plans for heaven. In between are the nights like this.