I was coming home on the bus today, daydreaming as usual, when I looked outside the window and saw the sky was bleeding in a wash of reds and oranges and yellows, this gorgeous profusion of rosy colors staining the heavens.
It looked like the world was on fire.
It looked like the angels had been taking a leaf out of the books of their darker brethren of the underworld and dabbled in a bit of arson.
It looked like…a pretty apocalypse.
This overwhelming sense of the beauty just welled up in my chest, until I felt those colors flicker and swirl within me, pooling around my heart, trickling into my muscles, like I was on fire, exquisite, fiery rapture.
A thousand gateways flew open inside the twisted crenellations of my brain, and a thousand thoughts flooded out. My mind felt smooth, liquid, brimming. I thought of rebirth and the phoenix. I thought of the Egyptians, seeing this same sunset, and proclaiming it to be the great Ra. I thought of death and blood, I thought of rubies, I thought of canoes on still waters basked in the reddish light, of birds flitting past the fiery expanse. But most of all, I did not think. I just felt. Experienced. I felt alive. It was wonderful.
And then I turned away from the window and looked around.
Not one person on the bus had even noticed the fiery bacchanalia of the firmaments.
They were all on their phones. I’m not even kidding. Heads bent, hands clasped tightly around a lump of metal, earphones nestled in shell-cavities. Look! I wanted to scream. Look! It’s red! It’s orange! Oh, now it’s turning purple, it’s turning pink, OMYGOD, look, isn’t it freaking amazing?!
I wanted to cry. I know that sounds pretentious, but I so wanted them all to see, these worn out, bored souls back from a day of school or work, plugging into their daily dose of music and gaming and social networking. Forget your friend’s status page. The sky is wounded, it’s bleeding for you to see, see, see! I had had an awful day too, filled with people and bad treatment and noise and fear, but this sunset.
It changed it all. I felt light. I felt free. I felt good. Good. After days of gloominess, of having a big lump of not-rightness in my chest, the sunset made me feel good. And I wanted it so badly to make everyone else on the bus feel good. I wanted us to crow about the beauty of it together, applaud Mother’s Nature’s spectacle, and each return home with a smile in our hearts.
Instead, I stopped jiggling in my sunset, and watched it slowly fade away, into pinks, and then dark purples, and then to darkness.
And then the only lights left were the overhead lights, and the rectangular glows from the phones, lighting up the empty faces of the people on the bus.
PS: Photos don’t do sunsets justice. Pretty please, the next time you spy a beautiful sunset, will you bask in it for me? Or instead of staying glued to a screen (I do it as much as the next person), look outside the window as the day ends, and just feel it, okay? Just feel alive.