Although I had to teach classes in the morning, I went for a late night stroll along Silver Lake, a small reservoir located just north of downtown and a five-minute walk from my apartment. I couldn’t sleep. Perhaps the brisk air would work its magic on me. I hadn’t been out to the lake since October when I was training for a half marathon. That event put the kibosh on running for a while, as I injured my left foot. Of course a winter wonderland has since replaced the orange-tinted trees that lined the lake and inspired my romantic soul a few months ago. I can’t tell you whether my insomnia is a symptom of psychological issues or dietary habits. The conscious purpose of my nocturnal perambulation was to tucker myself out and in the process get some exercise. What I think I really desired in my heart of heart was some kind of epiphany. I was hoping God, or the gods, would speak to me, give me some kind of guidance, a sign of some sort. I suppose I’m always looking for some kind of sign. However, the only thing I heard was my breath and the snow crunching under my shoes.
Part of the way was unlit, and for some reason the areas of darkness offered me a greater sense of comfort and security. Anyway, I’m not exactly dressed for public consumption: I was sporting my baggy plaid “sleep pants.” I didn’t particularly want to be seen, though I passed a couple of fellow night owls in the course of my walk. I indeed keep a low profile in this small city of the Upper Midwest. Apart from time in the classroom and meetings with students or faculty, I live a rather solitary existence during the four days or so that I reside here. Well, that’s not completely true. I usually say hello to the coffeehouse barista and the lifeguard at the YMCA. Who knew I’m a social animal like other biped mammals? But I’m a social animal who can’t seem to fall asleep at night. Alas!