[Published in DTO #028]

 FICTION:
 13. "Nights Like This" -- by DisordeR


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 "Nights Like This"
 by -- DisordeR
 
         I remember nights like this, sometimes in great detail.  Sitting
 on the hood of my car reading a novel under a streetlight.  Letting myself
 become part of the book, being one of the characters.  Cars would pass
 and the pale outline of faces in the passenger side would be clear to
 me for a passing second.  Looks of curiosity passing by one after 
 another as a parade only I see. Another page and another minute pass by,
 now a part of me to some degree. Gentle breeze on a cool night almost
 flips the page for me. A newfound sense of purity in a world waiting
 to rush by.

         I remember nights before those, spent with the only other person
 in the world I cared about. At night sitting on top of the building
 we lived in. Wrapped up in a blanket to shelter ourselves from the
 freezing wind. We looked out across the sea of the town population,
 marvelling at the shimmering lights from thirty floors up.  Everything
 was so tranquil below us, while our time spent above was everything.
 Sitting behind her, wrapped around as if one, never wanting the night
 to end.

         I remember nights farther back, sitting in a car with the windows
 cracked, waiting in anticipation. My partner and I waiting hours at a
 time, hoping things would go exactly as planned. Stepping out of the car and
 having the crisp breeze crash against our faces, the best way to wake
 us up and focus on the business at hand. Minutes after that, enjoying the
 rewards of a weeks worth of planning and the satisfaction of a thorough
 job being done. Not for the money, not for loot, only for the thrill of
 beating some system of some building out there.

         I remember other nights spent entirely in front of a computer
 screen. Chatting with friends in one window, reading mail in another.
 The exihlaration of invading another computer system driving you on
 to find new machine, new networks, new worlds. Not giving a rat's ass
 about whose privacy you are invading or what law you might be breaking.
 Going from corporation to college to government server in the span
 of an hour.
 
         On nights like this a variety of emotions course through me,
 an unknown method of determination the jury of my actions. Relying on
 the nature of chaos to guide my actions, free will my boundry, and a
 wrecklessness that can only lead to new adventure. What used to be
 random feelings have turned into a requirement of my life. I need
 that feeling every so often as it reminds me of who I am, and what I
 can be.
 
         I remember the nights of pure pain and confusion. The feeling
 of my heart being ripped out and throw at me. Being rejected for the
 supposed last time, remembering the times before it. The callous
 attitude or facial scorn that shows she was just feeling me out, never
 giving me a real chance. Playing with my emotions as if they meant
 nothing to them or anyone else, me included.

         I remember the nights spent in solitude, wondering where
 my girlfriend was and trying to convince myself that she was only out
 with friends, even though I knew otherwise. Every friend of mine had
 come to me and spilled the truth, sparing me no detail. It was for
 my own good despite the pain the short term. I cursed them on those
 nights, only to face realization for days following.

         Nights like this remind me of the six inch metal blade
 getting thrust between my ribs. A million thoughts flashing in my
 mind as the pain seared through me. Warm blood flowed freely down
 my stomach and soaked into the jeans. Unforgettable is an understatement
 for nights like that. Yet I manage to forget it almost every week,
 sometimes even for months. Until nights like this come back around.
 
         On nights like this, I am simply torn. One half of my life is a
 twisted set of bad events that continue to plague me. The other half
 of my life could be used to draft up plans for heaven. In between
 are the nights like this.

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