Light at 9pm

In the time that I’ve sat here doing absolutely nothing, the sky has turned dark and I can no longer see anything outside my window. I’m not surprised that the darkness came; I’m surprised that the light lasted this long. 

April is almost over, which feels weird. And it feels weird that it’s 9pm and I can still see the street and cars and trees. When you think about anything and try to make sense of it for long enough, everything is weird.

The pastel hues of the sky at 9pm makes me feel like I should be outside even though I have nowhere to go. Nothing has ever had more power in making me feel guilty than being in my room when things outside are green, and blooming and showered in light. It’s the reason I can’t watch movies in the middle of the afternoon unless it’s raining. When I travelled to places where it was always sunny, I sometimes, every once in a while, prayed for rain. It’s ridiculous, but that was the only way I could stay inside, doing nothing, without feeling bad about it. 

9pm light convinces me that other people are definitely outside, definitely having the best time of their lives. They are too old to be in bed and too young to have responsibilities. They are out there: in hidden street corners, in the glow of street lamps, in the hazy brilliance of 9pm living. It feels like they have it right and I have it wrong. They are alive and I am simply trying to be. They are having fun and I am missing out.

Light at 9pm is very pleasant, but it is also cruel. It makes me feel heavy with the burden that I should be making something of it instead of letting it dwindle before my eyes. Deep down, I know the 9pm light is not at fault for making me feel this way. The light is allowed to shine whenever, however it wants. It is my self-imposed pressure that convinces me I should be out there soaking every last bit of it up before it fades, before it is too late, and I am too old, and life is too complicated.

But when I sat in my room tonight, staring out at the light at 9pm, I understood something new: that light can be appreciated in many ways and that I don’t always need to be in the thick of it in order to be part of it.

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