The city calls me at night.

By day it may attend me with cruelty; trample on my polished shoes, scream, then vituperate and splatter me with saliva. By day the city may wring the life out of me. By day it may not spare me a parting glance or thought but when night falls, it dazzles me with its lights. When there is none else in sight but a dark sea of twinkling dots stretching for miles and miles into eternity.

At night it greets me with the rhythm of its heart beating. The music of its heart that comes alive only when the black opaque void descends from the heavens. In that dim hour when only stragglers still stand, loitering, the city of a million lights invites me into its inner sanctum and holds me in its nudity wrapped only in the silky black of dreaded night. Here there are no secrets between us. Here I am beset with revelations.

And these days, the soul and the embrace of the night is what I live for. When on my bed I lie mellow, bobbing on the undulating waves between waking and dream, not aware but not so much at rest, more oblivious than conscious; with my back lain but my mind never quite at peace because the murky waters of my soul are constantly stirred by memories with roots deeper than my mind can touch or fathom. Then the power of her rhythm and the might of her silent song pull me into her bosom and I trudge.

Slowly and hours long I traverse a city wicked and hostile by day but solemn and consoling by night. A city of two hearts…a city with a heart of two faces. The city of the night pulls me to a different corner of its soul every time the iron veil of night falls over day to show me some secret of her priceless soul.

Tonight, I stand on a bridge. I do not know how I got here or how far I walked to get here or even how long I have stood here. But when the lights come on I see an expanse of water serene to a fault, dancing to the gentle stir of the night breeze. Stretched away and cradling on the shore, structures, altars to man’s genius. Towering high into the heavenly darkness with rebellious dots of light twinkling here and there, like me, deprived of sleep and therefore cannot rest. From where I stand I could reach out and touch one but I do not move a finger lest I unsettle the night. The water with a million eyes sees everything before me in perfect replication. A gentle breeze swoops past and with a thousand hands tickle the mirror of forever and for a moment everything resonates in obedience. My head moves right and left. I see concrete snaking away in both directions and my feet move. My body, my mind follows.

Ahead I see a pair of lights blinking, no movement. Closer and I realize it is a car: Humming; Throbbing; Curvy; Black and silent like a terrible spawn of the black night lying in wait…waiting to devour the unsuspecting prey. Movement! Rhythmic… up, down, up, down. A mass of uncountable golden threads going up and down. Beside it a torso rested, head thrown back on the head rest in oblivious ecstasy; Eyes shut and palpating to the splush…splush of the rhythmic up and down A sound; high pitched and screechy, a shriek explodes from the mass of golden threads but now it has a face with eyes heavily circled with paints of black and lips and mouths spattered with a bloody red. A face gripped by fear, then flushed with embarrassment and then settles in anger. The rested body ripped out of its revelry points something at me; a nozzle glittering in the lights of the overhead street lamps. It hands shaking, yells something at me. I cannot quite make out what he says! It could have been “who are you?” or maybe “want some too?” But my feet gain life and the great haze sweeps me along. As I traverse, the words play over and over in my head, “who are you?” “Want some too?” And from nowhere my lulled brain sedated by night fires out, ‘who are you and what do you want?’ My mind dulled beyond reasoning quips, ‘I do not know…’ But the cloak of night is so thick and its power compelling propels me forward ending all attempts at introspection as my mind again dives into the murky ether of black nothingness, intent on its aimless odyssey.

When the cloak slips away from my mind and the lights come on, I am behind a counter. Angry faces scowl at me! My lips part and my tongue push out the words, ‘good morning. You are welcome to Swift bank.’

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