January 16th, 2003

Me 2012

Orange Skies and Snow

I woke at 5AM this morning. The sky glowed a pale, uniform orange, and I knew it was snowing. I don’t know why the sky turns orange and glows when it snows around here, but it does. Something about the way the streetlights reflect off the clouds and the snowflakes. It makes me feel as though I am on an alien planet, or in some cyberpunk future. Surely, on Earth, in modern times, the sky does not glow pale orange at night.

But it does. Maybe cyberpunk is now, and I just haven’t noticed yet.

Sometimes I want to go away. I want to drive into the distance, away from all the people and streetlights and houses. I want to go some place where it still gets dark at night. Not just dimmer, or shadowed. Dark. I remember going camping as a child, in tents at national parks that didn’t even have flush toilets, much less lighted paths. At night, it was so dark that I needed a flashlight to go to the outhouse. I couldn’t see anything, not even my own hands, with trees spread sparsely around me.

Does it get that dark, any where, any more? Did it ever, or am I just imagining it? Is my memory just wrong?

A couple I know moved recently to a small farm, off a gravel road, where the houses are a half mile or more apart. Lut and I are going to visit them for a party this weekend. They’re afraid the husband, who is in the National Guard, will be called up for active duty in the Gulf, so they’re hosting and early birthday party. Even Lut will go for that.

Maybe I’ll get to see if it still gets dark at night.