You and I live in a city where light pollution makes the night a kind of marled grey. It never feels dark enough. It’s not dark enough, I tell you, stepping back. You place your hand on my neck. We stand that way for a bit, mutually annoyed. There are at least twenty cigarette butts in front of my house and I can see the lipstick on all of them. It’s just not dark enough.

In the morning, I email you a possibility. If we drive the car for 43 minutes, taking this highway and that exit, we’ll arrive at a dark enough place. You reply immediately with a slightly complicated yes. Fists pressed into my eyes, I try to imagine what it will feel like to be inked over with you. No computer screens or coiled bulbs or prime time programming to flicker their own stories at the sky.

It takes even less time than Google predicted. You park and together we separate the tall grass, our flashlight beams crossing by accident, then not. You turn yours off, letting it drop to the ground. After a moment, I do too.

Stars punctuate a deep but certain blue. I can feel myself blink, feel you coming nearer by inches. So, you ask. Is this dark enough?

Naomi Skwarna is a writer and actor.