What is it exactly about driving after midnight in your hometown?
You start off driving back from a party after a football game. Maybe you are going to a friend’s house after prom. Or, headed home from Sonic.
Time goes by and you are home from college. You are going to see a buddy at his new house. Sometimes, headed home after watching a late-night holiday football game.
Time elapses again, and you are driving your children in from out of town to see Grandma and Grandpa.
The streets are empty and the stillness of the night has a tint to it that you can never forget.
Standing, at 17, under the yellow light at the end of our street, I vividly remember this peaceful quiet.
After midnight in our new town, the traffic signals flash red until morning. The first time I see them I remember driving home at night when I was sixteen, the only car on the road, red lights blinking me all the way down Main Street. Windows open, no radio. The steady clicking of the lights. I hadn’t remembered that in decades. That particular quiet.
-Sarah Manguso, 300 Arguments (Amazon)