Oh darkness, I love thee so.
One of the most horrible things about becoming an adult is the tendency to ignore our childish thrills. We don’t believe we can fly if we try hard enough, we’re definitely never going to find that pot of gold, and that monster in the closet suddenly stops existing at night.
Or does it?
As adults, our brains are constantly trying to rationalize things and make us behave in rational ways. Our dreams and nightmares become just those things that happen when we sleep. Once the sun peaks, the light shines, and we’re able to see the whole truth. And the truth, when you come to think of it, is so bland.
However, in the dark of the night when we can’t see what lurks in the shadows, the truth becomes the worst thing we can imagine. Whatever it is our brains conjure are the things that wait for us in the places where the streetlights don’t shine.
So, let me deviate from my Poe-etic rant and review our little hamlet as it stands after dark. I’m rating the streets of St. George nine out of 10 burned-out streetlamps for being too blasted bright. Here we are, stuck in the middle of a desert where we could fully enjoy the wonders of the night sky, and what do we do? We try our hardest to make certain each star has to compete with our LDS temple.
Hopefully it’s somewhat clear how much I value the night. It’s beautiful and it’s scary. You know, like me.
Darkness is the time when the adultisms that have been beaten into us over a lifetime seem to recede a bit in favor of those vampirical forces that rear their terrorific faces in the absence of light. Yes, I made up three words for that run-on sentence. The adult in you sort of hates it, right?
That’s where the night comes in handy. When we can’t see the game of life being played, it’s easier to break those stupid rational rules.
Who’s to say there isn’t some demonic hell creature in your hallway closet that can only appear at midnight? Can anyone say for certain that a coven of witches doesn’t gather outside your dorm every new moon and cast spells? Is it absolute fact that a dragon doesn’t appear and search our streets for gold when it’s impossible to see? Can you show me documentation that a flock of fairies isn’t hiding in the rubble of the Whitehead building just waiting for the sun to go down so they can fly around and cause mischief?
I advise you to take some time at night and let your imagination run free. Drive out to the middle of the desert, lay out on a blanket, and look up to the heavens. Let your thoughts get carried away. Turn out all the lights in your house, sit alone in the darkness, and see how long it takes for your imagination to create some other-worldly being.
Or do what I do. Go on a midnight run down an abandoned trail, or take a witching hour hike up a darkened mountainside. It’s thrilling to imagine some zombie or cannibal or Leatherface just waiting around the next corner to gouge out my eyeballs. In a way, it also makes me appreciate being alive a little more.
OK, I must deviate again to add a review. For those of you who think you can actually go out running by yourselves in the middle of the night, you need to reevaluate our society. Your review is to read five out of five articles on rapes and muggings that happen at night. If you take my advice and go nighttime adventuring, then do it with a buddy. Or better yet, do it with multiple buddies who are linebackers.
We have plenty of time to see things as they are when the sun shines. It’s when our planet faces the void of space that we get to see things as they might never be. Nighttime is when our inner child returns to us.
So I say, come out, little child. Come play in the dark.