Cracking the Windows, Opening the Doors

I rode my bicycle home from my best friend’s house at 11PM tonight. The night air had calmed down the oppressive 100-degree heat of the day. I could hear the chains of my bike rotating as I pedaled faster, then faster, until I skipped through stop sign after stop sign. Without deciding anything at all, I had decided not to go home.

The night emptied out the dry heat. All of my neighbors had responded by swinging their doors open and inviting the cool night in – bugs and curious passersby included. One by one, I passed doors standing open, the light from kitchens and hallways pouring out onto the sidewalks beside me.

I turned a corner and stood up on the pedals as I ascended a steep hill. At the top, I tossed my hair behind my back and let out my breath. I looked into the sky. A full moon stared down at me, inviting me to focus above and forget the road ahead. It was offering guidance, I thought, in some abstract way. I shut my eyes with my head tilted toward the moon and let the momentum of the bike take me forward, the breeze pulling me back lightly. I thought of pillows.

Tonight, in late summer, I can stare above me, stop looking ahead. And everyone leaves their doors open. We all abandon our fears. We will all consider living like this each day, but tomorrow it will be cold, and I will drive instead of biking, and they will close their doors after they’ve walked in from a long day at work.

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