Fireflies hang suspended in the underbrush like Christmas lights, celebrating the long-awaited dusk. The dimly-lit road lies before us. The streetlight, a lonely sentry keeping watch over the barren pavement, is nearly a mile away.
At times, words flow between us like water; we still are able to enjoy a companionable silence and the rarity of each other's presence. My best friend, my brother, is going off to school the day after tomorrow; this is how we find ourselves, walking down Sturgeon Point at 10pm.
After what seems like an eternity, we reach the railroad crossing. The lights aren't flashing- it's safe to go down along the double tracks and walk in the loose gravel. At first we laugh as we stumble over the rocks, but I'm nearly in tears ten minutes later because of the unexpected exercise my ankles are getting. I decide the relief outweighs the risk. So, for once in our lives, we act like reckless teens because we are invincible and young. Disregarding the evident danger, we mount the tracks and lunge from plank to plank.
The heat of the day is but a distant memory, but we've been here before. My leather jacket is satisfactory in its task of keeping out the nighttime chill as we swiftly move along the rails while exchanging quotes from our favorite authors. He tends to favor Oscar Wilde's "Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." I prefer Virginia Woolf's "It is no use trying to sum people up."
The colors, dimly lit by moonlight, speed by faster than I can blink. Just as quickly as they appear, they disappear into the dark night. We jump the trench that separates the tracks from the woods. We've almost reached our destination. Just a short climb remains. We begin our steep ascent through rough bushes with thorns, receiving our share of cuts and scrapes.
We arrive at our final destination. There is a towering, graffiti-covered bridge at the top of the hill that overlooks the entire town. Looking out and breathing in the town, seeing the small world in which we live-it is all worth it; to see all of the little lights radiating out into the dark expanse, for a time I am content.