She stepped out the front door and into the warm summer night. Behind her was a cream colored condo, consisting of the same shapes and lines as the hundreds identical to it along the street. Above, there was the white shape that greeted her each night. Always there, always present, whether she looked or not.
Tonight, it was full and shadowed lightly by just a few transparent clouds that glowed in its light. She could still feel the yellow light of her house, the florescent bulbs of the kitchen, the deep gold of the lamps in the living room, she could see more coming from the windows of her neighbors, but with each step she took, she shed it just a little more, like soft filament falling from her skin.
The world beyond the walls of her small house were alive, illuminated by another type of light. She heard frogs somewhere close by. The night was electric with stars, each competing for the brightest twinkle. She brought the long tail of her headscarf around her neck with a gentle tug. In the moonlight, no one could tell its color, but it was her favorite silk scarf, a mixture of orange, gold and pink.
She was not sure what compelled her to paint her lips and wrap her favorite, most exquisite possession around her head, especially when she just needed to walk three blocks to the small store on the corner for a gallon of milk, but she had felt the urge and didn’t stop herself.
The wind was soft and rippled the edges of her scarf with a delicate hand. She felt something that night, something so light and ephemeral it could have just blown past her, like a crumpled leaf forever drifting to the edges of the world. But though it was soft and delicate, she felt it so strong that it sunk in deep, it buried itself in memories and held on.
That night, more than any other before it, she felt relaxed in her pale white skin, beautiful and alive and open to anything that might come her way. The dark bushes along the sidewalk edges looked inviting and beautiful, like they were ready to play. She took her steps carefully and slowly, savoring the breeze and her time alone in the night. She allowed her feet to feel each step along the uneven sidewalk.
She smiled at the tree roots, claiming their dominance over concrete. She nodded, it was how it should be. She smiled faintly to herself, so happy to be outdoors, so happy in the night, so relaxed and beautiful and under a white moon.
It was her calm, easy breaths that made her pretty, her openness to the dark sky and the colorless leaves and the sidewalk on its way to destruction. Briefly she wondered if her inner change was brought by the orgasms she had had in the afternoon, or the warm bath, or the hours alone in her room with a comforting cigarette and plenty of water and apples.
In those hours alone, in the light of the afternoon that slowly shifted to blue, and then black, she had looked into the mirror and she saw what others could never see, perhaps what she did not allow them to see. But now, on her way to the store, she allowed her insides to pour out.
“Here I am,” her body shouted, only there was no one there.
She longed for conversation, for something meaningful and enchanted to spring from the bushes or emerge from the cracks in the sidewalk, but no one stopped, no lips, no man, no pulsing fairy. It was just her, and the trees and the bushes, the sidewalk and the stars. The darkness, and the walk to the store.
She was there, as pretty as the most masterful painting, and she walked, with her head up and looking towards the moon. With each step, her gaze softened just a bit more and her smile grew with seduction. Only, there was no one there. No person. So she let the night rub at the edges of her body, she let the moon invade her as it wished. The night was hers and she belonged to the night.