Friday, September 14, 2012

The Night Air

I am the night air.

I am different. I am cool, crisp, even cold sometimes. I can get muggy, I can get humid, but I keep my cool, I don't ever get hot. I am not abuzz with sun-rays, I do not tan you, I don't invite your kids out to play, and I don't need you here either, but you're welcome to hang out if you like. I am cool.

I see things clearly, maybe you don't understand. Maybe you don't get it because you think the day air can see better. Well the day air's just fine, but I don't need you to tell me what I am or what I can do. I could not care less for your approval. I could care less whether you see because I can see perfectly fine for you. Just trust me.

I am the night air and I've seen you be scared of me. You think I'm ugly, you think I'm lying, you don't feel safe and you don't trust me, because I'm too cool to trust. My winds do not whisper "red rum" as you seem to think they do. I have said nothing of importance, it's cool, trust me. Those shadows you dodge aren't even my fault — you made those, you damn fool.

I am the night air and you do not know how to please me. I blush when the moon winks at me, only you don't see it wink because you look away too fast, and you don't see me blush because you cannot see; I do not wear my emotions on my sleeve. My emotions are subtle, and you do not appreciate the subtleties. You only like the way the rain feeds you, you don't appreciate the way it feels or the way it sounds. But I do — I feel it all. And I listen.

I listen better than God, because unlike God, nobody wants to talk to me. Sometimes they talk to me and they think they're talking to God but they're just talking to me and I listen. I hear your movements, I hear your actions, your words, I hear your thoughts too, but I don't care for those. I am too cool, the night air, to care for those.

I hear insects, and they are loud as hell. They keep talking, and that's just fine because I can hear them but I can still listen to other things because I'm a good listener and I've listened to those bugs before and they don't have anything to say. I don't like bugs usually, unless you got me in a bad mood. If I'm in a bad mood I'm all right with bugs because I can lose my cool and nobody will notice because those damn bugs take all the attention. When I'm cool I leave the insects to the night ground because that's where insects belong, on the ground. When I'm cold, those insects know not to come around and I wish you'd know, too, because I like to be left alone when I'm cold.

I'm the night air and you know me, but you're not my friend. You never say hi to me like you do to the day air. You don't say hi to me because you're too busy saying bye to the day air. You say bye to the day air and you don't say hi to me then you go away and replicate the day air in your spaces and you say bye to the replica day air and don't think to say bye to me.

Sometimes you hang around, and I listen just in case you remember to say bye but you don't, you just wish I'd be gone. You're lucky I let you leave. You are not my friend.

My friends are cool. My friends only hang out with me because I'm cool and they like that I'm cool so they hang out with me because they're my friends. I don't care for your friends. I don't care for the day air, either, because the day air has so many friends and it doesn't need me and neither do its friends but they like me, they're just afraid to hang out with me because I'm so cool.

Crispy, they say. I am crispy, the opposite of soggy, the opposite of disgusting, the encapsulation of clean and the quintessential of cool. This is what I am because I am the night air.

I am the night air and I hear you crying. I see those tears glint in the winking moon who loves me so, and I hear your bed creak as you quiver on top of it, day air unwanted, night air unwanted, you don't want any air at all, do you? I hear you regret those things and blame yourself and others and God, but you don't blame me, because it's not my fault and you know I had nothing to do with it. I listen to you in that way only I do, through those walls that you think keep me out, and I may keep to myself but I am not kept out. I am the night air, and I go where I want, and right now I want to be with you, because you don't sound like you do most nights and that interests me. It interests me and I feel your sadness. But I can do nothing for you about it because I am cool.

I am the night air and I cannot provide. I am the excellence of absence, the brilliance of darkness, the independent opposite, unaware that I am based on something else, not a basis myself. If all you had was me you would have no one, because I'm too crispy to be motherly, and too cold to be Godly, and too cool to yearn to be either.

I am the night air and I am rigid. You cannot hug me or embrace me, bask in me, and you feel best when I am not around. I am unwanted.

But I am cool. So I don't need to be wanted. Without me, you wouldn't know to get warm, and you wouldn't know when to stop.

I am here for you in subtle ways, and I appreciate the subtleties. If you appreciate the subtleties you just may appreciate me, though I am more than subtle, I am profound. I am the profound absence, I am the profound darkness.

I am the night air and I will always be here for you, extending a hand but not offering help, drying your tears but not consoling you, hearing your prayers but not as your God. Here in the exact way you need me to be.

I am the night air, the balancing element of everything you know, and you don't even know it, because it's my cool, not yours, and I keep it because it's all I have.

--Eliot Sill


  1. Eliot.

    You keep getting better and better. Although it's in an entirely different vein, as I was reading your post, it made me think of a favorite of mine that I just have to share.

    by Robert Francis

    Keep me from going to sleep to soon
    Or if I go to sleep too soon
    Come wake me up. Come at any hour
    Of night. Come whistling up the road.
    Stomp on the porch. Bang on the door.
    Make me get out of bed and come
    And let you in and light a light.
    Tell me the northern lights are on
    And make me look. Or tell me clouds
    Are doing something to the moon
    They never did before, and show me.
    See that I see. Talk to me till
    I'm half as wide awake as you
    And start to dress wondering why
    I ever went to bed at all.
    Tell me the walking is superb.
    Not only tell me but persuade me.
    You know I'm not too hard persuaded.

    I can't write, but I can appreciate and steal or borrow when necessary.


  2. El, night air piece is cool. No pun intended.