Over my back fence is a row of three double-wides on large lots. They line one side of a short block with three more of the same type of dwellings on its far side. This block features one of only three streetlights to grace this entire neighborhood of about 150 acres. The middle of these three units beyond my fence is occupied by someone who stays up late at night. In all the dark distance eastward, the lights of that house and the streetlight in front of it are the only artificial lights I see most nights -- other than my own, of course. I don't know the people who live there, who are my fellow night watchers, though in warm weather, when they leave their drapes open, I sometimes see someone moving about inside, or stepping out onto the rear deck. It has occurred to me that, between their house, mine, and the lonely streetlight, this small area is the center of nightlife on this side of town; a virtual Times Square, compared to the sleeping acres around us. But at three o'clock each morning, the lights in that house go out, and I am left alone with the streetlight until the first early risers awake, when kitchen and bathroom windows bloom like so many lucent flowers. I've always wanted to live at the center of things. It seems unlikely I'll get that wish, but at least I do seem to have arrived at the center of nothing.