One Evening

Evening in a city
ONE EVENING. A PICTURE BY ENRICO PERINI.

The evening runs its course. What remains of the plump boys loitering in the playground are slender silhouettes that look as uneven cutouts from a cardboard sheet; contours of everyday objects further tapering off from their earlier shapes to a stream of black. Slowly, the eve yawns over tiny houses, streets, paddy fields, the river, and the mountains. Look how the stars crowd the belly of the night, emerging out of nowhere, like holes in the sky. Just before the lights flood the streets, a multitude of sounds fills the surroundings: shiftless goodbyes of home-bound children, the cry of a bird in search of its nest, the cough of motors and the ringing of bicycles, the soft wind that whooshes through open windows and doors, the blaring of televisions running the evening news, the mooing cows, and the occasional barking dogs.

However, just like everything that disappears either violently or with grace, the colours of the day do not stay for long. The pregnant moon hangs overhead like a disc hanging in space. The element of mystery disappears as lights flood the street and the homes are lit- each object claiming a space of its own. That’s how evening grows into the night- from angst to tranquility, quietly growing into a gigantic ocean of black adorned with tiny speckles of light- day in, day out. We loosen grip on things that we hold on for dear life; animals die their slow death, people cease to exist, objects rot and decay. With their passing are born ghosts, spirits, and wandering souls that slip into dimly lit streets and grim buildings to take shelter, to seek solace and redeem; the night is their sanctuary.

On some evenings like these I slouch on my rooftop and listen to my favorite artist: Olafur Arnalds.

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