It was past 10 at night. The janitor started vacuum the office by then. The timer-controlled overhead lights went off long ago, so did the AC. It was stuffy. Turned off the table lamp, I slumbered my way downstairs in the semi-darkness, out to the parking lot, where my little white car was faithfully waiting for me, all alone.
Sat into the driver¡¯s seat, my entire being just collapsed. Tired. Turned on the engine, I noticed the gas indicator was right next to the red bar. ¡°Oh! Shoot!¡± I forgot to get gas at lunchtime. I don¡¯t know whether the Chevron right by the highway was supposed to open 24 hours. In the suburb where I used to live, all gas stations close by 10pm.
My doubt evaporated as I approached the intersection. The gas station was brightly lit, and packed with sports coups, laughter and noises. I pulled up to the only empty gas pump, Indian dance music was blasting out of the car across the island from me. Indian movies were one of the few kinds the communist China considered appropriate to import. I grew up with this music. It was such happy music. I smiled. What was there to worry? It is afterall the middle of the Silicon Valley, where pulling all nighters must have been such common practice. I surveyed the drivers around me, Indian, Chinese, Chinese, Korean, Indian. I smiled some more. As I was driving away, young Chinese guys from other cars have started shooting flirtatious glances my way. My tiredness evaporated, too. The night was crisp and clear.
Woke up to a foggy morning. Little hills all around our apartment were enveloped in milky fog. Pretty. As I walked to my car, I realized it was actually raining. It was the softest, gentlest, soundless kind drizzle, like lover¡¯s glance, subtle and inescapable. I drove away, wrapped in this rain blanket. My entire being was lightened up and softened, as if I could fly, lowly close to the ground, in a murmur noise.
By the time I reached the southern end of the city, it was a clear and blue sky, dotted with fluffy white clouds. I had the urge to brake in the middle of the traffic and take a picture of the view. On my right were hills that had golden brown coat, dotted with dark green vegetations, their heads covered by the same kind of milky white fog like the ones by our apartment. In front of me was the bay in a hundred shades of green, grayish green, bluish green, pastel green, aqua green, etc. They formed stripes that divided up the water surface.
Driving down the peninsula towards silicon valley, the highway snaked in and out of multiple weather systems, sunshine, clouds, windy hills, rain clouds, rain, sunshine again. Etc. The gentleness of the rain in the city remained with me all the way, all day.