When night falls like this: life, in black and white

The streets are gray and everything on the edges has gone to brown, might be dead, hangs on waiting, like us. Looks dead, probably isn’t.

I stare out the window at work and night has started at 4 o’clock. It goes to an electric blue, soft indigo. Reminds me of how the sky reflects off the snow.

I ride the elevator down and stick my head out the door to take in the scent of it, the fresh air. To separate myself from my cube, my computer, the file I have open, the reminders.

I ride the car down as others are leaving and shaking off their day. I go outside because I need to, and I ride the car back up the same, every day.

I sit there with a Word file describing my objective, my personal development plan, what I want and how I plan to get there. And it’s a play I’m not proud of, but need to be.

The dark comes from the sky, from the absence of light. Most days we live in the gray, and need to look for dots of color, even brown, for signs of life.

In the old black and white photos the faces look tired and creased, they worked too hard: men squinting against the camera with mustaches and hats, the 1900s. It’s hard to picture color back then, looking at it through black and white. The scenes of street corners and store fronts, hand scrawled dates and places, hardly real. The house where we once lived, the ghosts and names of those who lived there too, slept beneath the same roof, never known.

My painter friend threw his painting away because he couldn’t get it to say what he wanted it to say. He wasn’t violent with it, just folded it neatly so it would fit in the trash bin.

But he was sad talking about it and didn’t look me in the eye, and I knew what he meant. It’s hard to feel the urge to express something and not be able to. It’s better to try, and throw it out if you must.

It’s why I ride the elevator up and down.

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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6 Responses to When night falls like this: life, in black and white

  1. mirrorgirl says:

    I like the mood in this post, and how you weave it together with your thoughts. I also “get” what you and your friend mean, and I would not throw away your work.


    • pinklightsabre says:

      Thank you! I’m so glad you connected with it…and I love your blog moniker. Very sweet. Thanks for stopping by today. – Bill


  2. ksbeth says:

    i know how frustrating it is when trying to create and express something that you can’t. what i do is wait for a moment of inspiration and it suddenly becomes quite clear and all falls into place. sometimes you just have to decide to cut your losses and abort a struggling project, though it is always a struggle to do so, as each thing we create carries a little piece of ourselves within it.


    • pinklightsabre says:

      Lovely, thanks Beth. It’s hard to get rid of things that have pieces of ourselves in it…but maybe best, sometimes. Thank you for sharing. – Bill


  3. Glynis Jolly says:

    Those are some pretty dark thoughts. Are you okay?


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