I've started seeing the lights flicker when they aren't. It took me a while to notice, since it happens most when it's quiet and there's nothing to distract me--no one there to tell me that the lights have been burning bright and strong this whole time. But then I asked someone if she saw the lights flickering and she said no, and since then I've had my eye out for it.

Time and again, the lights go dim--just for a fraction of a second--and time and again I ask if anyone saw that, and none of them did. I've had friends of mine who know more about electronics than I do monitor the lights and the circuits. Nothing. It's all in my head.

I notice it now without trying. For a while I tried to ignore it--it was nothing, after all--but it didn't work. I kept thinking. I kept seeing. So I started keeping track. Times, dates, what I was doing. I developed a shorthand for it, so I didn't need to waste any time to make note of it. I knew there was a pattern there, somewhere. The faltering lights were trying to tell me something. But what? I could see shapes in the data but I couldn't see how it pieced together.

I obsessed for a while, keeping all the lights on and doing nothing but keep track, until someone reminded me that perhaps the pattern had something to do with other activities. I tried to return to my daily tasks, but it was no use. The flickering distracted me too much.

In the end I settled for the one thing I knew: the lights can't flicker when it's dark. And so I surrendered to the dark, and finally knew peace again.

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