Every night, I'd look for a sign.
Something, anything, to tell me that it wasn't real.

I'm not here. This isn't happening

My balcony became my refuge, on those clear, autumn nights. Standing alone, with only the dim light of a slowly smouldering cigarette, and the stars. The television was almost always on, adding it's cold, blue light.

I couldn't really watch it for long. But I needed the noise. Always pacing, there was no way I could stand in the one place. Motion was life. Inactivity hurt. 3am journeys around the lake became an essential escape.

And the ducks, startled into sudden action, in an explosion of movement and noise, reminded me that I could still feel.

It was about this time, that I began searching for shooting stars. And praying to a God that I don't know if I fully believe in. Because I knew...if I asked for a sign, and that shooting star appeared, things would be alright. Confirmation of what I knew had to be true.

It was all a mistake. Everything would turn around, and I could live again.

So began my nightly vigil. Walk into my room, the place where my entire life's efforts were placed, and wait for the sun to set. And I saw some amazing sunsets. It seems I paid more attention when I was waiting for night to cover the land. I'd wait, and turn my head to the sky, searching for my sign.

I can't remember the transition from autumn to winter of this year. The cold couldn't touch me, it just meant that I had longer nights to search the sky. And the air was so clear. Misting in front of my face, drifting off around me, blending with the denser smoke. I could sometimes hear the crackling of the tobacco as it burnt, flared bright in front of my eyes. Some nights, I saw the fog gradually form, blanketing the city. Forming halos around street lights, and reducing the silence to something even quieter. I could never truly appreciate it's beauty though. All I saw, was that it was obscuring the stars.

Irony is a wonderful thing. It was a cloudy night, when my sign finally came. Light reflected off the low cloud, tears in the cover allowing occasional glimpses to the clear sky above. I guess I'll never know why I chose to look up right at that point, why my eyes were drawn straight to the hole which had appeared in the clouds. But there it was. From one side of that window to the heavens to the other, a shooting star, burning bright. For a moment, my heart felt as though it had stopped, and a shiver ran up my spine, as I wished the only thing I had any desire for. As I hoped, that maybe, I would feel alive again.

And nothing happened

Life went on, just the same as before. Each day I felt the same. Every night, I stayed up late, not caring to sleep, because every time I'd close my eyes, I knew, that another day had passed. And that before too long, a new day would dawn - just the same as the last.

And every day, I remembered that shooting star, as though I was seeing it for the very first time. And I wondered, where it's power had gone. Why nothing was different. All the time I felt that the world should have changed - somehow warped around me, and bought things back to the way they were before. While all the time, everything was dragging me further away.

I began to doubt in the power of my shooting star

Time passes, days slip away. Feelings change, and emotions are transformed. Insight comes with time, unclouded by the fear of of those moments in life, untainted by memory. It's strange sometimes how long it takes for understanding to come. Because I was so fixed upon my shooting star meaning one thing, that I was blind to the possibility that it could ever mean anything else. And now life has changed. Feelings have changed. Everything's different.

I realise now, that I did receive a sign that cold winter night - and only now have I been able to acknowledge that things are better. So I lay down to sleep at night, knowing that my days haven't been wasted. Knowing that there's life - hope - in the future for me now.

These summer nights, I will walk to a mountain top, lie on a rock still warm from the day's sun. And I will scan the skies.

Searching for a shooting star.

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