You didn't start out to be depressed, but some nights just end up this way. The coffee shop's empty of familiar faces and you don't mind driving around, getting lost while you know exactly where you are, watching a sleeping suburbia pass and wondering who the kids who left their bikes on the front lawn will grow up to be. Despite the noise of wheels through puddles it gets real quiet and unimportant thoughts start to weigh on you and even the songs you hate on the radio have a certain kind of axiomatic truth.

But you didn't mean to spend the night alone with your thoughts. You wanted to think that it was ok that excitement didn't come to you because you would come to it. And you didn't call your friends but you were sure you'd find them, and you didn't make a date but you didn't suppose you'd go home unaccompanied. But you've been out for hours and anxious and yet the night's still young. You've walked up and down the streets and not heard so much as the breath of the wolf whistles of a pickup full of high school boys.

Some nights you end up at the river, watching the rain hit the high water from a birdshit-covered reventment. And sometimes you don't care and you walk through the park and sit on the dryest swing you can find, pump your legs hard and fast and smoke wet cigarettes. Sometimes you give up and go back to your porch but don't quite make it through the door in case - just in case - you'd miss something if you did, were about to give up too soon.

Eventually, you forget you were looking at anything at all. There's a fiendish sort of pattern recognition that nags at you as you watch the pavement turn black with water under the oily streetlights. It's beautiful like the alleys you're not in, beautiful like stumbling home to a damp house with a slanted bathroom and unmatched sheets. Like the blues sung by punk rock boys and comic books about people who would never read comic books and a howl that's only going to fly up into the sky and disappear.

You've got a halo of smoke and used breath, steamed raindrops bouncing your foreign heat back to you. And your thoughts don't mind the intrusion of the rain's patient footsteps, though your hands are still embarrassed when they can't hide behind a cigarette.

Your lips are wet and your eyes feel clear. You can watch the water drip off the tips of your hair and down your nose where you rub it away to have the same drop reappear in five seconds. But it feels good and clean, like time has stopped and you're the only one moving, safe and far away behind a wet curtain no one wants to examine too closely. People zip home in their cars, hurry past with heads ducked low and umbrellas keeping their eyes from finding you, the heathen. Because you didn't go looking for it, but here you are, and enjoying it.