They move away, perhaps fetching a drink or joining another conversation. For a moment my thoughts are still on the conversation, and then the background noise saturates me. All the other conversations in the room are crawling over me. My conciousness could flick to this one, or that one, and select just those voices, and hear just these words, but for now it stays drifting. So there’s no comprehension of any of it. Odd phrases, fragments come and go, like ripples across the surface of a pool. I let go of that, and I have just a wave of sound. In this raw mass of conversations overlapping, without any meanings to latch onto, it is suddenly as though I am alone in silence.
It was a nice party, I imagine.
Later, some of us took a walk through the dark streets. It was a lovely night, nary a cloud and nary a breeze, though rather cold. For a second time, I found myself between (or betwixt, if you prefer it that way) two groups. It was less alienating the second time. I am fond of the night. There is a quietness to it, and an intimacy to it, that daytime lacks. Daylight has distinctiveness too of course, it is more lively and unashamedly happy, but I am fond of the dark smile and the quiet moments.
If anything, the big memory that tonight’s walk triggered for me was a cumulative one, of the various night walks on the various camps through school. What I loved wasn’t the destination, but the walking. Night in a quiet place, or night in the wilderness, is one of the few things in the world that still has a quasi-mystical, otherworldy or spiritual essence at its core (two others that I can think of are sex and music, though I am sure there are more). During the day everything is reducible to elements and things are simply what they are, but at night sounds are sharper, vision is deceptive and there is an elusiveness to the world. It is something to enjoy, I think.