It’s midnight. Spring. I’m standing on my second story balcony smoking. It’s raining outside and the light blanket of fog hanging in the air is neatly packaging the street lights and neon signs of the bar down the street into tight, sodium cones and flashing, colorful boxes of outdated beer branding. I take a drag of my cigarette and watch the tail of smoke on the smoldering end curling and dancing upwards to join the fog. I hear voices. The voices are happy and loud. Most of them are intoxicated and accompanied by the slurred shuffling of feet across the wet sidewalk between bars.
I am alone; as I have been for most of the past few months. My mind drifts to the summer; to the beach. I imagine myself standing on a pier at midnight instead of my four foot by four foot balcony. I can see the light house on the jetty up the beach slicing the fog at the waist and signaling, simultaneously, the safety and danger of the rocky shoreline. Out from the guts of the lighthouse, a fog horn opens its mouth wide and yawns with a deep groan that summons the romance and tragedy of the sea from its murky, turbulent depths.