This past Sunday I was helping Boyfriend install a new door at my parents’ house. The old door was a ratchety thing, heavy and crooked: using it was a torment. It had to go.
We worked well into the evening, with time off for breakfast and a supply run to Home Depot. It was past dusk when the drop lamp was finally retrieved from the garage, echoing with crickets. I held the lamp aloft, like Florence Nightingale, listening for the cries of the Crimea to come shuddering through the cobalt air.
The night was cool; rich with particles of water that clung to the sky, unwilling to fall. Stars and planets shivered like chilly jewels behind the clouds and the moon was coy, hiding her bright face in their gray skirts like a child.
On a whim, I turned the lamp towards the sky, hoping to capture the lost illumination. But light years stole my efforts and the lamplight quickly evaporated, like a weakling candle. I examined the shadowy arc that balanced over the horizon, but the sparkling populations remained bashful – and hidden.
Before I turned away, however, I detected a faint blinking in the sky – a tiny, struggling light. Undoubtedly it was an airplane.
But on the other hand, perhaps a star had decided to reassure me with a distant wink – a whimsical departure – before retiring for the night.