This is Newdean (II)

You've guessed, perhaps, that I call Newdean home. I was born here, I suspect I shall die here. Don't dismiss me as provincial -- I've travelled considerably, and seen a great deal of the world. But, always, I felt an urge to return home, and after a while it seemed senseless to resist this. I stopped travelling, and returned to my little family home.

I haven't left the county in nearly five years. Everything I need is in reach here. I don't just mean material amenities, though these are easily acquired by regular visits to larger towns nearby. My job is enough to sustain me, and my frugality means I can provide myself with entertainment and other treats when the mood takes me. There are two pubs in Newdean, and I frequent them both. There's even a struggling cafe near the beach.

But like I said, it isn't only my material needs that are provided for by Newdean. My soul is thirsty, and Newdean gives it much to drink.

I prefer to walk through the streets at night. Their magic isn't obvious during the day, though I visit them then as well. Sunlight reveals what most would call their dilapidation, though I don't regard it as such. Neither the paint peeling from white washed houses, nor the pavement broken by intruding weeds, strike me as signs of decay, but instead of the vital triumph of forces outside of human design. Encroaching ecologies, and bleaching solar radiation -- they enliven my soul with their quiet, persistent energy, their inevitability.

But at nighttime, something other than these powers make itself known to me. The phosphorous yellow cast by the streetlights twists the streets and houses into something deliciously unfamiliar. The streets furthest away from the sea, and thus the main road, are one of the most neglected areas of Newdean; they border the Old Downs, and at the ultimate edge of the little town the road becomes a dirt track. There is no illumination on the Old Downs, and on moonless nights they may as well be as impenetrable as a mountain range. There is some folklore that speaks of strange lights moving over the hills at night, and warns against seeking them. I, however, have been watching the dark for years and have seen no such things. In the remote distance, on overcast nights, one can see the faint glow of other towns reflected by the clouds, but other than that, one might as well be staring into a vat of crude oil.

This is where I walk.

That darkness is not empty, it is pregnant and full of purpose. I feel drawn to it, as drawn to it as I was to the town itself on my travels. I stare into it, into its thickness, and I know that, like the philosopher said, it is staring into me as well. Some power resides there, and it is older than those that are visible during the day.

I feel like I am on the edge of a knife. The total darkness of the Old Downs on one side, and the strange yellow glow of Newdean on the other. There's a strange tension then, as I feel unsure whether or not to allow the darkness to finally consume me, or if I should return to my home. I always ponder what would happen if I allowed the darkness to have its way with me. I imagine it snaking around me, enveloping me like a leukocyte, and I know that I would welcome its terminal embrace. But I don't allow this, as what I seek is not the revelation that permitting my digestion would bring.

The thing that makes itself known to me at night -- it is mystery itself, the nameless and unknowable as such. That is why I don't permit myself to succumb to my desire for dissolution, and always return home.

I know, though, that one day the mysteriousness of the mystery won't be enough anymore, and the dark will finally have me. This day is one I fear terribly. Not, you understand, due to some animal urge toward self-preservation. I fear it because I fear the end of the mystery. And again, not because I fear what will be revealed, it is revelation itself I fear.

I want the darkness to remain darkness, and not be lost to light.


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