I remember one day, back in high school,
When I was invited to spend a long
weekend at a country house of one of
my friends, and in an effort to be
a little less like myself and maybe
create a social life, I accepted.
(That effort failed, but it’s
not the focus of my writing)
The house was a few dozen kilometers
north of the city of Osasco, part of
the metropolitan São Paulo area, which
houses some twenty million people.
Where I have always lived, since I
was born, except for a couple family
vacations to the southern states, I
knew nothing but the city.
So it struck me as quite fascinating,
How star-lit the night sky was when
we got there, and how dark it was
near the ground.
I had grown used to the São Paulo
nights, where the lights from below
mix with the dark, creating a shit
brown color in the horizon.
(Not a nice image, I suppose,
But it’s just the truth.)
Light obfuscating every star, save
the moon which you could still see
if you squinted a bit harder.
I wasn’t used to a night so absolutely dark,
but I wrote about them all the time, still do.
In stories, usually, nights are used
to build suspense, terror, something
to be afraid of, but I’ve always
preferred them to the daytime.
The house also had an extensive lot
behind it, unused and wild, untouched
rain-forest with huge spiders dangling
from webs and fire ants beneath the
So, that night I went and got lost in it.
Singing songs as loud as I could, for I
had no fear of anyone hearing me, and
looking at the stars between the canopies.
and an hour latter I emerged, my friends
were sitting on a swing bench talking as
they saw me spring from the dark.
I had told them I was gonna go for a walk
but they didn’t think I’d take so long,
and also that I would have taken a light.
And I still don’t get it, take a flashlight,
For what? to ruin the perfectly good dark?
Nights like this are a rare commodity for
city-folk like me, why would I hide from it?