We all arrive to this open field in messy, unkempt suits, the sun long since set. None of us can fully express the feelings we have in the pit of our stomachs. The orange color illuminates the stage which we have set for ourselves, whose source are the three or four incandescent safety lights that turn on autonomously after night has fallen. This field resides at the park, in the no name city where we all grew up, whose name only rings familiar to the residents who have had the misfortune of calling it their home. There is a haze from the mid-summer humidity of the day gone by that accompanies our small group of three.
With sinking hearts, we sit and lay in the middle of this field, making small talk.
“What have you been up to?”
“The weather has been hot hasn’t it?”
“Politics have been fucked up, lately, haven’t they?”
This small talk opens up to more in depth conversation. Talks about our lives away from this tiny city. Talks about the worlds we have created for ourselves. Talks about how it all came to this. One of us has brought alcohol for the conversation. It helps marginally. The conversation is fleeting. One of us mentions the fact that they brought sparklers. There is an exchange of glances before an unconscious decision is made to let that occupy us for a while.
We each grab sparklers and run around the barely lit soccer field for an hour and a half. We perform a celestial, midnight dance where the world is our stage, and the audience of none looks on. We perform for ourselves. With the world’s back turned to our shenanigans, our faces and temporary happiness are in the spotlight created by the sparklers; the trail of light that is emitted from them dies in its infancy. Our ages regress as time moves forward in its quiet distance. Tiring ourselves out, breaking down in the immense emotion of it, we return to middle of the field.
As we lay back down, our performance finished and the curtains closed, we return once again to staring at the stars that seem so close, yet so far. Nothing we do here will matter to the atoms out in space, to the atoms here on Earth, and the collections of atoms that make up its population. No one will care about the emptiness we shared. No one will care about the times I stayed up at night wishing things turned out differently; that our childhood quartet stayed together. A quartet of children, turned trio, grown up in the callousness of the world.
But this moment is special. A trio of boys, turned men, together for this brief moment of eternity. Our post-performance conversation moving time forward, and healing us internally. Earth is callous, as is its population. However, our nihilism ceases to be, as our camaraderie brings us together in mourning, as the sun rises for its morning. We hug, exchange goodbyes, and keep false promises of staying in touch. There is a silence that envelops our Earthly stage. We look down one last time at the mess we have made, and realize we finally ran out of sparklers.
If you enjoyed what you read, contact Vincent Tevnan at vtevnan@student.