On the Way to the Convenience Store
Getting lost in a big city conjures up a childhood memory.
She got lost on the way to the convenience store.
The night was balmy, the air full of secrets and she felt like walking. The megacity she had just moved into felt smaller at night, when the last trains had gone, neighborhoods shrinking down to isolated islands.
Walking from one station to the next could take an hour or more.
In a park, she watched a boisterous group, probably students, gesturing with a large lantern. It had a rusty retro look to it but was obviously electric, its steady light dancing with the shadows across grass and trees.
When she'd been a child on summer holiday, her mother had once taken her on a midnight walk. The ancient gas lantern she'd produced from the garage had been a thing of wonder, its dim and flickering light transforming the familiar dirt paths and fields into fairyland.
They had sat on a hill behind the house. The night had been clear as diamond and her mother had pointed out constellations in the sky.
She had felt drunk on possibility, then, the stars close enough to pluck and put in her pocket.
As she watched the light dart across the grass in a city too big for human imagination, she felt drunk again: drunk on thousands of yellow squares blinking in skyscrapers like champagne bubbles.