SHORT #8: Cities in Darkness
Arriving to Yvette during the day, the city seems not so much different from the one before it, or the one after. A train station with a few shops clustered around it, a bakery, a fruit shop, homes up the side of a hill, and a small field and forest abutting a river. For this, most every town in the region can be described the same way.
It is only during the night that Yvette differentiates itself, for after the sun sets, the entire city disappears completely into darkness. On moonless nights, the main features of Yvette are a satellite, crossing the sky toward the big dipper, passing just under the bottom left star on the corner, and then vanishing into the dipper. The pitch-black city is a cloak, spread across the entirety of ones view, with only various other pin pricks to guide their walking.
They say Yvette is a city riding on the edge of the universe, where no one steps into light, but only gazes at it from the threshold, staring into a silent darkness.
The darkness of a city, they say, is natural.
“Why does a city need lights, when they only distract us, from our seat on the edge of the universe?”
Thanks for reading this week’s story. I’m Patrick, and each week I illustrate and write a short like the one you just read. I’m also an arts editor at The Nature of Cities, and director of City as Nature, where I imagine more equitable, resilient, regenerative cities through art, design, and writing.
If you enjoyed this, please subscribe and share it. If you have thoughts or inspirations, start a conversation below, or send me a note.
The Possible City is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.