Hot, sultry days. Nights that can never quite cool down. This is when I love nightwalking.
At 10.30 the concrete driveways and bitumen streets are still trying to radiate heat into an atmosphere that has no capacity for it and so the air lies thick and cloying like a Victorian miasma. A car sweeps past me and creates a cool, diesel-scented draft against my bare chest.
nightwalking has always triggered in me a kind of mournful sense of time passing. It’s a feeling akin to nostalgia but without nostalgia’s element of glory days long since past, or some place that can never be revisited or some lost love that can never be retrieved.
I don’t have a route for my nightwalking. I find myself beneath the looming giants of the water towers or by the bore baths or outside Duncan’s. It doesn’t matter, it’s the movement in the darkness that counts.
Swampies toil away on roofs.
A beat up wagon with red P plates toots at me.
The sound of a couple arguing languidly in their kitchen.
A dog hurls itself against a chainlink fence.
Curtains flicker blue in the light of a gigantic TV screen.
Teenage lovers snog, oblivious, beneath the fluorescent light of a carport.
There’ll come a time, soon, when it’ll be so cold that I won’t want to leave the house even to go to the bore baths. But that’s a lifetime away right now.