I must admit that I always felt safer in the dark than during the day. I am not sure why, but it must be all the colors within the day. Or perhaps, the whiteness and the light. In the night, there is nothing. It is pitch black. That somehow helps me and calms my mind. I particularly remember one spring day when I used to live in Brooklyn. I had two roommates and we had a huge terrace. It was part of a townhouse complex and there was a whole block of terraces to walk on, if one wanted to. If one was adventurous enough, then, yes, there was a carpet of terraces.
One night, the air was warm and sweet and I decided to climb out of my window onto the terrace. I am not sure how many hours I stayed there, but I could see the stars and that made me wanting to stay there for as long as I could. There were so many stars. They reminded me of my childhood in the valley, where I grew up. I remember, there used to be so many stars. I stood there and I opened my senses to the dark. Everybody had gone back into their cocoons.
When I was 13 years old, I used to go outside and stay alone in the dark. I remember I used to love it and it kept me shielded from my family, I have a big family. There were moments when I needed peace and walking in the dark, deep into the valley, gave me moments of silence and peace that I could never find within the four closed walls of our home. Sometimes, I walked far away and was hoping that somehow, I could stay within that moment eternally.
Now, I was in Brooklyn. A place I can hardly call my home. It is a foreign land and a foreign tarmac. It bears no resemblance to my valley, to the nature I knew, where I was part of it and it was part of me. This was something alien. But, somehow, the tarmac was warm and there was a breeze. The stars were shining and I some how, felt home.
There was the safety of the darkness. I knew it well, better than the day. My biggest fears always begun somehow with sunrise, madrugada. There was always an instant in that world of daybreak, were everything could change and where the old was greeted by the new. I am not sure what are the words. Some people call it excitement, or anxiety. Some others call it names, I cannot recall. One day, I will sit on a terrace and write all the words that come into my mind at exactly that moment, when the dark cedes its place to the light.
But, in this moment, I was somewhere in Brooklyn, on an unspecified terrace of an unspecified townhouse block. I was living there and I was looking at the stars. The only thing that saved me from the next morning, was the memory of something sacred. And that was the blanket of stars and the sound of silence that I had kept within my memory.
At that horrid instant, when the sun just rose, my memory reminded me that I can still leap forward and run away from the violence and clarity of day break. Violence bears the color of white. It is illuminating, mathematical, a linear equation.
I ran for hours and days, until daybreak was no longer seen in my horizon. I ran into safety; I ran back to where I came from. When I went back home, a few months later, the first thing I did was go and sit on the sand of the valley. That was the only place where I felt safe and human.