There are nights that just seem to blaze with clarity. It strikes me every so often as I’m walking home in the chilly, winter moonlight that these are the moments that are the most real to me. Every day I wake-up and go to work. I chat away with friends and co-workers. I pass a multitude of businesses and cars all filled with people I may or may not know. This life just seems to run on auto-pilot. I’ve made decisions that set the course of my daily life; there is little room for maneuvering when you have rent to pay and goals to reach.
Then those silent moments when even the city drifts away glide over me and reassure me that I could walk all night, away from the city, away from the thousands of people I will never know, without feeling anything but the comfort of thought. I socialized this weekend. Shocking, I know, but I really did make an effort to go out and see what all this city life is supposed to be like. My roommate and her friend (well I guess my friend, too, now) went to dinner and then back to her place. She had invited some people she knew from a school organization over. There was some music and a bit of drinking. It was fairly tame. While I enjoy meeting new people, this was not a meet new people type of event. This was a we’ve-been-awkwardly-thrown-together-I’m-going-to-ignore-you type. I left early on the excuse that I had work in the morning, which I did. I put headphones in and listened to Ferry Corsten’s electronica on my way home in the fresh snow pretending that I didn’t just attend that weird event. I don’t usually understand how students in Madison and listen to their Ipod while walking or on the bus and ignore the world. That night I did. It doesn’t matter that my fingers are cold or that I can’t find the sidewalk in all the snow.
The only thing that matters is the feeling of connection in a place that seems to destroy the very connections we need as humans to our origins and selves. That connection brings all the wandering thoughts of the week into sudden focus. No more doubts, lack of foresight, or inability to communicate. When the chill of the wind and the steady beat of my feet against the ground collide, I am left in perfect understanding.