This morning at 3am, I was lying on the front lawn watching a red shadow creep across the moon.
If this had been 1991, this might have been attributed to a bad acid trip followed by cheap Mexican food. Back then, seeing the moon go dark on the Winter Solstice would have been proof positive that the world would be ending very soon, and there was little point in thinking about getting a real job or paying the rent on time. I would have attributed the double whammy of the shortest day of the year coupled with the Lunar Night Goddess being robbed of her light as an omen that The Great Evil had finally taken over the world. I probably would have hunkered down right there in the leaves and grass and prepared to disintegrate or be eaten by robots or for whatever fate awaits those of us who don’t get Raptured.
Of course, I would have woken up stiff and cold with a homeless guy peeing in the bushes next to me, the world still chugging along on its inexact, yet very much existent, path.
Nearing up as we are on 2011, I spent last night’s astronomical exhibitions with my son tucked under my arm and the dog snuggled in my lap, a wholesome family moment that I never could have imagined back in the bad old days when I wore angst like my favorite pair of patched-up Levi’s. My mind tried to work its way into some alarming significance about the deep darkness all around, but I wasn’t really listening. I was busy marveling at how we view time as linear because we are born and then we die, but if we really look, the universe is built in cycles, with no beginning and no end—the moon endlessly spinning around the Earth as the Earth does its eternal dance around the sun. Perhaps someday it’ll all spin up together in the cosmic blender as a frozen margarita of hydrogen atoms and wormholes. But last night the celestial bodies all lined up for a few minutes, then kept on their merry ways, just as they’ve been long before they had monkey-minded humans to witness them and surely will long after we suffocate ourselves in our own garbage.
There’s no denying that twenty years has taken its toll on this monkey body, and twenty more will surely bring more aches, wrinkles and dimples in the wrong places. If I’m still here in twenty after that, then I’m definitely going to start smoking again. Laying in my own front yard (I’ve got the mortgage to prove it) with my family, unsure of the future but ready and willing to entertain it, I came to a realization I would have liked to have shared with my 19 year-old self: Get up and go home, asshole. Ditch creative writing as a career choice and major in mechanical engineering, because in the future everyone will be a writer with their own things called blogs but there will be a ton of bridges that need rebuilding. Start a savings account. The end of the world is for pussies.
Just in case you stayed in your lovely warm bed last night:
And because that
lunatic on the grass weird angsty girl still kicks around in this bag of bones somewhere, here’s a little something for her: