I went out and crouched in the dark. Even for Arizona in January, it’s not a very cold night. The sky was clear, but all the city lights drown so much of the sky’s beauty. I squatted there in the darkest spot I could find, using a parking lot wall to block out the light of neighboring apartments. In my head, I ran through the conversation I’d have with the nice officers if one of my neighbors reported “someone suspicious” out in the dark.
I needed to see one. I waited there in the crisp midnight air, and wondered for moment, why? Why does this matter to me? Why bother? Why do I feel the need to see even just one meteor tonight? The answer came quickly from within: I needed something to remind me of how small we are—that there is so much out there.
So I waited and watched and questioned every imagined flash in my peripheral vision. Then, there was what had to be one: A streak that I couldn’t have just imagined. I stuck out my clenched fist, and estimated a 15-degree arc across the sky. I saw another smaller one later, and then a group of four in quick succession.
Half a dozen. Not bad for the city.
I stood from my crouch, and felt very old as it took a while for me to rise and get my legs moving properly under me. Next time, maybe I’ll bring a blanket to sit on instead of crouching. And next time I’ll remember why.