Thursday, January 04, 2007

Moonsick


It's very early in the morning. I'm not asleep, because there's a full moon. If there's a full moon, I don't sleep. Neither does my mother. Apparently lunacy is genetic. I'd question it if it weren't true, or if anything important hung on whether or not it was true. But all that really happens is that every now and then, bedtime will arrive, and I don't go to sleep. Hours and hours go by. I wonder idly why I'm not sleeping. I wander the house rearranging the kitchen shelves and ordering things online. At some point, I glance out the window, and there it is in full phase, hanging lustrously in the sky like a pearl button on a dusty black overcoat. Tada! You're a werewolf.

It is high above my window, rusting the edges of a milky puddle of clouds.

I love the moon. I love its fervent, reflected light and the spectacular, heartbreaking romance of Earth's grip on it. And it suggests the moment, long ago, when my father explained parallax to me when I asked why the moon followed us home in the car.

One of the loneliest things in the world is looking up into the night sky and finding that it isn't there. Not the night sky that ought to be there, but another one. The dark has been ransacked. Worst of all, the moon. The soft, friendly luminary of all your nights is gone and replaced by a stranger who is all the more terrifying for being almost exactly like the moon you have lost, and yet somehow ...

One day, walking under another full phase, I mentioned the great grief of my moonsickness to Pluvialis, who understands such things. She stood in the wet autum street and considered. What's wrong with it? she inquired. It can't be that we are seeing the other side, because the same side always faces us. So ...

Light dawned. Standing there in my overcoat, I put my head between my legs and looked up, upside down. And there she was, my old friend, smiling at me. She'd just stood on her head all this time.

If I rest my head on my desk just so, I am home again.

7 comments:

jo(e) said...

Beautiful.

Tom Bozzo said...

As jo(e) said.

It's actually something my total Northern Hemisphere bias never considered, even though I was aware of the matter of the visible stars -- not to mention the classic Simpsons episode in which the toilets in the American embassy in Australia are equipped with a NASA-esque contraption that ensures the water swirls down the bowl the "right" way. (Entirely for comic effect, of course.)

Tom Bozzo said...

P.S., if you are inclined to read SF, you might check out Robert Charles Wilson's Spin along the theme of the sky suddenly not being there.

Tom Bozzo said...

OK, I'll kick off the "Is Xtin still with us?" commentary. Are you worksick? Thesis-sick?? Had your mind eaten by bizarre trans-dimensional beast (not the thesis)?

Scrivener said...

What is up? Will the start of spring bring you out of hiding?

Scrivener said...

No, no it won't. Maybe the start of May? The beginning of summer?

BiggerInJapan said...

are you me?