Last night, I remembered why modern man invented the electric light. I remembered why it was so important for early man to have fire. Connecticut Avenue, being a main thoroughfare, has all of its streetlights powered. The side streets between Connecticut and Nebraska, however, are a different story altogether.
As I started walking towards the metro station to meet a friend, I found that I was facing complete darkness. The route was a familiar one, one that I walk daily. It’s my commute to work. Normally, the walk feels more like a responsibility, and I never had a second thought about my next step, or what was next.
Now, with no light, it had taken an altogether sinister aspect. The trees loomed overhead. I smelled rotting fruit and branches, but I couldn’t see any of them. Empty houses, bereft of light, deserted by their occupants, lingered just outside the tiny cone of light I could muster with my keychain flashlight.
Step by step, over downed branches, avoiding potholes, through spiderwebs, tripping on uneven sidewalks, I rediscovered my fear of the unknown.
Improbabilities fluttered into my head. I was still calm, but I found that without seeing everything, my mind wanted to make things up as I walked along.
After what felt like an eternity, I was upon the station. My anxieties fled as the light revealed familiar surroundings, and I forgot about my walk.
Until I had to go home again.