Out of Reach
One cold night in November, a few of my close friends and I piled into my car and drove out of the city to go stargazing. Forecasters predicted that residents of North America would be able to see the Perseid meteor shower that night. We found a dimly-lit parking lot overlooking forests and fields–which we joked would be full of axe murderers–laid out a blanket, and stretched out on the top and hood of the car. None of us had dressed for the weather, so we huddled together in our hoodies and mittens. Lying out there, staring at the sky in hopes of seeing a streak of starlight, felt so peaceful, so surreal. I almost imagined I could melt into the stars and be content.
When it got to the point that we were shivering violently, we got into the car and drove back to campus. It was then that I realized that my keychain was broken, and my building key had vanished. My roommate got us inside, and we whipped up some hot cocoa to warm ourselves. One of my companions volunteered to drive back with me to the parking lot, even though it was a 20 minute drive each way, he was dead tired, and it was four o’clock in the morning. I am still extraordinarily grateful to him for that.
We searched the school parking lot, the car, and the out-of-town lot with a flashlight and the headlights, but to no avail. Defeated, I drove home while he dozed. During the next few days, I looked desperately for that darned key. I cleared desks, crawled under the couch, emptied boxes.
I never found it.
This was for a “slice of life” illustration assignment. I wanted it to have that surreal, melting-into-the-sky quality, hence the multitude of blues and broken shapes.
Thoughts appreciated. Enjoy!