In Spite of Sirens

It’s approaching midnight, almost quiet near Haight Street tonight. From time to time, I hear people’s footsteps beyond my bay windows that face the front street. I imagine a younger man, energetic and adventurous to roam the neighborhood in the dark. I wonder if he is just now coming home, whether he was on a date or with his pals, and where they might have eaten dinner before saying their evening’s goodbyes.

No sirens tonight. No ambulance, police, or fire truck sirens, of which I could never distinguish. For these sounds, my curiosities lived differently. Urgent sirens send echoes off buildings and into all corners of our city to alert emergency response. Unlike footsteps, I don’t try to imagine anything with sirens. I stay away. I send my good graces, and try my best to fall asleep with gratefulness and the warmth of blankets.

I fall asleep thinking of a stranger who walks home excited to call his date tomorrow afternoon.

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