The blue hour is descending on Michael, but I want to absorb a slice of the diminishing light for myself. I want to preserve this precious moment and offer it to her as a farewell gift shortly before she slips into bed, before she sleeps through the night. Something to carry in her purse, or place in an empty box on the seat beside her, something still slightly warm and tinged with turquoise to remind her of the landscape she loved since the day she was born.
But the sky will not allow it. This trip isn’t on a bus that carries freight or will idle quietly while a few of the passengers decide whether or not to linger. It will not wait patiently for Michael to adjust her makeup, arrange her hair, or smoke another cigarette. There is no time for any of that; this journey is aboard a vast wheel turning in the sky, turning and turning on the axle of the sun.
I used to climb mountains when I was a kid. I thought that if I could reach high enough and withstand the express train of bracing headwind, I would be able to grab hold of the future curving over the horizon and share it with a lover at a later time, but I was wrong.
The present is all that anyone has ever been allowed, and when it is diminished and begins to slowly fade, the long slumber of night will command the helm, steering us towards a reunion with people whose faces and names we have forgotten, who light a candle upon your heart, and then step aside talking quietly in the fogbound forest of sleep.