A friend just called to say she left a bag in my fridge. Instead of figuring out a way to buzz her in the gate, I slipped my boots on, grabbed the bag and took the quiet night stroll to meet her outside.
It's slightly chilly, but not cold. Not the kind of cold that sinks into your bones. Just chilly. The kind of chilly where I think I could still survive on a quilt, under the stars.
That's all I'm looking for tonight.
I'm counting them, because I can. Out here in DFW, the stars are strangers. They show up every so often, wink at me across the giant room, and then disappear in plane lights and city glow.
But tonight I count 11. Eleven twinkling friends who've listened to my songs, prayers, dreams and weeping for nearly 28 years now. My friend waits, we exchange goodnights and "i love yous" and I wrap my sweater tightly around my arms as she drives away. There is no sound following me. Just the rhythmic hum of cars down the road, the song on my lips and my steps slowly moving on the sidewalk.
I crane my neck to count. 7. I only see seven stars now.
My breath is hushed and I lick my lips as the cool breeze chaps them against my will. A plane breaks the still air, and I count.
"I miss stars," I whisper, rounding the corner to my apartment. My small home.
It's late but I feel my soul asking so many questions. So many desires. So many choices.
And I long to drag a quilt out to the yard to stare at the stars. Ancient lights still shining. Still there.
Except I'm at my door and I see one.
Just one star.