It’s the night after the parade. Pieces of ticker tape and distressed newspaper gently sweep the streets, the city workers tasked to clean up the mess long gone after hours of hopelessly chasing these remaining tatters. It’s just turning to dusk, so the small town’s five downtown buildings are just beginning to glow above the purple horizon. After the ecstasy of celebration, the rural people have retired to their homes. Vandals and ne’er-do-wells will be out soon, says the old folk. But it’s really just kids looking to capture their own magic, to escape Saturday afternoons full of tradition no one’s dared to tie them into. So they make their own, soundtracked by seasonal winds, sneaked booze, and someone’s beat-up car. The city has nothing to offer this evening, at least nothing worthwhile for those operating outside societal protocol. All that remains is Prayer. Hands are folded, not to the heavens, but to the worship of another; the object of desire. This will all be nostalgic rambling in a decade, but for now, it’s your own parade. As still as the night is, it’s alive with want. You make of this evening what you want from it. Prayer has given you this opportunity; don’t forsake it for a dalliance with an unyielding god or reprimanding adults long out of touch with these feelings. You know this sound without a word.