Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Charity of Night....Part 3

There is, as singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn put it in song, a "Charity of Night". As if after all the misgivings, loud alarms, and abrasions we might incur in a given day, the night shares a forgiveness; a letting go, a respite from the cares of the day, and of course, eventually sleep.

As a young boy, there was a different sort of charity I was after. I learned it from my older brother Alan; bestowed with an uncanny ability to get something for nothing, a character that still resides in him to this day, although not gainfully.
Alan was always after the freebie; the search for the little loophole. Like the time he devised a way to get free Hot Rod posters from Pontiac that sold them at a promotional price of something like $3.00. Three dollars that a young teenager didn't always have. Alan filled out the order form and put it in the envelope. He addressed it and sealed it, then tore it open again, crumpled it a little bit and dropped it in the mailbox as is. He figured some kind lady at the redemption company would look at that torn envelope and fear the worst; that this poor young man had put his hard-earned money in there, and somewhere along the way, it was lost. Sure enough, Alan got the posters he hadn't paid for. (they were awesome, by the way)

Alan also devised a way to get in free to the local high school football games; in order to save himself a dollar or two. At some point he had acquired a large roll of white numbered tickets like you'd see at a raffle. As people were beginning to enter the gates at the football field, Alan would lurk inconspicuously near the ticket booth to catch a glance at what color the entrance ticket was that night. He'd come the couple blocks home, and with a little food coloring, he'd devise the correct color of ticket and return to the game. No one was ever the wiser.

I will tell you how we made pocket money "cleaning up" after the game in another post.

The moon tonight was full. The crisp sky air clear of anything but a scattering of stars. The landscape was transformed from a night-scape that is usually grays and blacks, to a beautiful blue-toned world with distinct shadows and bright highlights in the meadow, and twinkling water in the creek under watchful, silent, overhanging trees. The llamas followed us curiously along the fenceline, more interested in my four-legged friend than me. As we walked through an open space on the road I looked down into a field on my left. I could see my shadow briefly passing under a perfect cross made by the moonlight playing on a telephone pole across the road. There is a charity of night; a cleansing, a renewal, a glorious but calming time before the business of another day.

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