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Staring into sky

13 January, 2005 (09:09) | hitch | By: hitch

The boy stared hard out of the window, willing his eyes wide open against the day’s fatigue. Straining to the limits of focus, inspecting each star for a twinkle, a winking in its light. He’d seen it, he knew he’d seen it, the fading and bobbing of a single star, distinct against the steady, stately march taken by each of the other brilliant points of light. The boy’s father had said that he was being silly, that there was no such thing as mysterious lights, and that there was obviously a rational explanation for it. His mother had said that it was wonderful for her son to be showing so much imagination, but that it was important to remember what was real and what wasn’t. The boy didn’t worry about what wasn’t real, because he’d seen the light in the sky, and lights are real. But he knew to let it go, lest his parents sit him down and speak in very serious voices with very serious words telling him that it is very serious indeed to know about what’s real.

He watched, late at night, when he couldn’t sleep for all his energy. Watched the night sky, waiting for it to come back. Sometimes it did, fading in and out, bobbing there in the air. Waiting and hovering like nothing he knew. He knew about radio towers and skyscrapers, knew about warning lights and signal lights, knew about airplanes and red lights on the right, green lights on the left, knew about any number of things that were real. One by one he dismissed them all. None of them were interesting, because he knew about them already. He didn’t know anything about the light. So the light was interesting. And it was definitely real.

Time passed and the light stopped glowing. He grows up fast. Faster than he knew. He marries and buys a house and gets a job and pays his bills. He walks under the sky and under the stars. He still looks up and watches, watches, wishing. And when an airplane passes before his eyes he still holds his breath until he sees the earthly lights. And he knows that it doesn’t have to be there in front of you to be real.

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