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By L.T. Fawkes

It was Saturday night. All up and down the avenue the street lights came on. In all the complacent houses the men sat in front of televisions and the women scrubbed supper from plates.

Bennie believed that Saturday night was an internal function. She thought that she would sense Saturday night even without sight or sound or anyone to make her yearn. Saturday night had to do with the way the atmosphere changed and the way risk suddenly seemed to be less risky.

She paced the space of her home willing it to stretch for her but it shrank instead and seemed ready to squeeze her out into the night. It was Saturday night and the quiet of her home didn’t fit anymore. It felt unfamiliar and uncomfortably tight.

She opened the back door. Ten years before, the gravel of her parents’ driveway was disturbed again and again by the tires of cars piled with friends who had plans and ideas. This was another driveway she watched now and it slept undisturbed.

Bennie was twenty-seven and she felt embarrassed standing in the doorway in the cold night air wishing ghosts of teenagers into her driveway.

She crossed the corner of the driveway and moved barefoot out into the wet grass. The damp mood of the grass crawled up her bare legs. The cold found its way to her bones.

She knelt, then stretched long and straight on her back and watched the stars doing nothing in the inky void. She sought the comfort of unimaginable distances but instead the Earth heaved toward the gallaxies and the gallaxies sagged.

Small insects took microscopic pieces of flesh from her bare ankles and her bare neck. She was twenty-eight and she’d learned many hard lessons. She’d run up a long tab of experience but somehow she’d forgotten how to handle Saturday night.

Later, she locked the door and turned off the lights. In bed, she curled into herself and sang a silent, private chant designed to persuade Earth to turn her back around to the sun again.


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