--SOME PEOPLE WANT IT ALL BUT I DON’T WANT NOTHING AT ALL
Facts about the Moon
He wanted to tell me facts about the moon. When I didn’t have time, he wrote them down for me on sky blue construction paper using chalk and diagramming solar systems that had once looked familiar but now seemed bizarre, like a picture of one’s self in the distant future when they are saggy-skinned and brown-spotted.
We were young then, my boy and I, though it didn’t feel that way at the time. Still, now I remember once we ate bananas and stuffed our gums with large chunks of the fruit and something got into me because I made shrieking monkey sounds and scratched my arm pits and hopped all over the couch dancing. My boy, my boy he laughed so hard he almost choked to death. When he finally caught his breath, he said, “That would have been a fun way to go,” and I think he meant it.
Tonight when I pulled into our development and saw the long limos and the strapless gowned teens with their wrist corsages and spearmint smiles I wondered what he might have looked like wearing a tux, a rash of acne on his cheek, nervous as all hell but handsome I bet. She’d have been blonde like Mary, sweet yet sassy, too. And I would have liked her.
Now I’ve got a drink in my hand and I keep studying my son’s galaxy picture. There are spindly stars, rockets and oval planets, but the moon dominates. Luna is a warbled jawbreaker hovering in space, yet drawn with curved edges so that it appears to be spinning right out of its own orbit, its trapped dimension. I don’t know what any of it means. I should have asked when I had the chance.
Right as I’m folding the paper up, I notice on the back side something he’s written in pencil at the base, the font a nine year old’s unsteady scrawl. The lead is faint and smeared. I hold it up close enough that I can smell the dusty wheat smell. “Facts about the Moon,” it says. “Fact One: even when you’re not aware of it, the moon is always there, waiting for you to look up over your head and notice it.”
That’s all it says.
I get up and walk to the window, draw back one of the blinds. It’s been clear all week but now the night is so stuffed with clouds that nothing else is visible. I stand like that, looking, waiting for the light to break through, not worried about how long it will take, just waiting.