Black Hole

Last night I took my walk after dark. We emerged from our Thanksgiving cocoon of turkey and television, husband and I, into a night still warm from an Indian summer that had lasted far into autumn. The pavement was damp but no drops stood on our windshield. Less a light rain than a heavy fog, now gone, had passed over us while we, unaware, had dolloped whipped cream and sipped hot Turkish tea.

I stood on the sidewalk, momentarily alone. I looked across to a neighbor, and immediately all her lights snapped off. We walked the empty streets. It’s late November, he murmured to me, his tone low, in keeping with the softness of the evening air.

After a while, I turned to him. That’s the third house that’s gone dark when I passed. He looked up at the nearest street light. It had dimmed at our approach and was now completely spent. Halfway down the block, he turned to look back and chuckled in surprise. I turn around. The light was full bright.

We finish our walk. We cross two women walking a dog. At our porch, I hesitate, one foot on the bottom step.

Under the blind of the next door neighbor, the blue light of a television flickers.

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