The car door shut quickly as I tried to avoid holding up the oncoming traffic. It was dark, and it stood to reason that while the person careening my direction saw me, the car behind him might not have made the stop. Stepping up on to the sidewalk, a wind gust roared overhead. I squinted to make out the other people along the street and to protect my eyes from blowing leaves and dust.

I started to walk, but not in a hurry. Already later than I meant to be, so no need to rush. Crossing the street, another gust shook the stop sign and swayed the trees to block out the street lamp momentarily. It then returned to calm, echoing down the corridor as it made its way.

The crowd ahead grew larger, with shadows appearing out of alleys and from between cars. I wandered along, catching parts of conversations as I passed. A dog rushed to the fence, not making a sound once she got there. The glow from the house illuminated the sidewalk, and the lumbering silhouettes pivoted to reveal among faces. I crossed over to the path to the entryway.

The same conversation was on repeat and shuffle. I again stepped out to feel the strong wind press against me as if though it was shoving in hopes of provocation.

A bell rang out six times; a solemn voice in the din of laughter and conversation. It was muffled only by the wind. I turned again to look at the illuminated faces that became invisible simply by them looking away from the light.

As I returned to my car, the wind subsided leaving an eery silence. I turned on the radio, looked over the skyline and began a return trek home.