Still young, no longer so wild, I can still feel the pulse of the world when the sun takes its leave.
Life both fades and goes into overdrive. With the nine-to-fivers safely away, those that live in darkness come forth. They stick to the shadows, hoping to be seen only by those of their kind. They wish to be ignored by those who bring lights (especially lights that flash) and curry the favor of other, weaker shadow-mongers who have not yet made sense of this world.
I remember when the stronger rulers of the dark would battle each other for dominance. In those days, crowds would gather and cheer mindlessly, often indifferent to winners and losers and hoping for a spectacular show. Break his bone. Slam him into the ground. Make him scream. Make him beg. The worse the beating, the greater the dominance. The more respected the victor. I first observed this, and then put it into practice in my youth.
No matter the season, the temperature seems to dip considerably. A new set of laws are established, a set parallel and yet a very dark contrast to its sun-born counterpart. One does not call for help. One solves their own problems, by the fist or the gun. Law enforcement is often one’s friends. Those who sell their loyalty are not trusted, and their despised. If they’re strong, they see polite masks, everyone feigning respect and humor to them. It is a game; those that play this charade are waiting for a weak moment.
When it happens, it will not happen in daylight. Too many witnesses in the day. Shadows give birth to illusions. No one is quite sure what they saw. They saw something horrible. They wonder, will that person do that to me?
They will make themselves forget.
People claim a fear of the dark. It’s not the dark they fear; it is the unknown. It is the limited vision. It is the sudden noise that has no rational explanation. It is the clawing feeling at your gut that your killer may be beside your bed as you sleep.
It was the first fear I ever conquered.
I became aware of my surroundings. I learned how to function without sight. I learned how to listen, to smell, to feel. The wind shifts suddenly, you pick up the scent of something that should not be there. Brace yourself…
I learned it was not the dark to be feared. It was those that preyed in it.
And I am nobody’s prey.