Almost the very first thing I do every morning after waking up is take a pill that the label says “May cause drowsiness.” A silver gull floats away. Anything else that can already has. Everywhere I look, I’m looking as if through barbed wire. I can’t tell whether I’m upside down or right side up, I can’t tell what’s here, a leaflet (“How to Survive a Mega-Drought”) or gilt lettering on glass. It’s like when we were kids and did it for the first time, or maybe the second, clumsily, under the small black moon of the NRA sticker on the back window of your dad’s old Plymouth.
Light a match and watch till it goes out. Night is a vast unnavigable museum at which the ushers are required to wear white tops and no bottoms and the sign says Cash Only, a magnificently bad place to wake up but still better than being another one of those foreign gods hanging out on a corner and covered in a thousand eyes.
As an attractive young couple in the café holds hands across the table, the darkness begins to peel away in long, uneven strips, exposing an even darker darkness underneath, an attractive young couple in a café holding hands across a table.
The woods are dark even during the day, and the hikers who chance it tend to exhibit more spirit than acumen, but if you listen to the wind stirring the leaves, you can hear what sounds to some like a 4-year-old with a stutter dropping the F-bomb and to some like early humans climbing down out of the trees.