At night, sometimes, my neighbors across the street leave a light on in their house. Maybe they mean to leave it on. Maybe they forget. I go outside at night, sometimes, to think.

They are an elderly couple, from somewhere in the Midwest. He was a coach. She was a home ec teacher. He fishes, and sometimes he will come back with a cooler full of catfish. I make hush puppies, and take them across the street. We eat, and talk. Sometimes she will make a strawberry pie.

The light is in the entry hall, where the walls are a pale blue. I am not bothered that they leave it on. Whether they mean to, or forget. It is the light itself that bothers me. At night, sometimes, when I look across the street, the light has turned the room a ghostly green.

The green of a sanitarium. The green of a gas chamber. Color of an ice-hell. Bone-cold disdain.

Maybe they don’t mean to. Maybe they forget. Either way, the light will still be there and I will see it from my window. Green as a lie to a dying child, or lying under a man you don’t even hate.

Dark as up-turned earth. She makes a damn good pie.

I go outside at night to think. Sometimes to forget.

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