|Waxing Gibbous Moon (more than half-lighted, less than full)|
Who am I kidding?
I'll never post about the puzzle of family, the pull and the repel, the warmth and the isolation, the un-bloggable. I'll post instead about the moon, shining its cold, beloved light into my airplane window in the early hours of the morning and the one paragraph in a short story by Junot Diaz that set me back to a night long ago, a memory that pierced me and through whose tiny pinprick hole came despair and gratitude in equal measure, more than half-lighted and less than full. I wrote the memory down, the beginnings of a larger story:
The ring came in a little box, a coat of arms, a crown, a tiny bed of velvet. His mother had worn it before, or not. He was the second of the four sons, the first to marry. She always felt as if she were floating when she was with him -- floating through a forest near Mark Twain's house, a forest like the fairy tale, despite the thick undergrowth, his lightly drunken laugh. He dragged a guitar. She felt as if she were floating or, rather, drifting away in a small row-boat, the oars placed carefully inside, no effort and aimless after love on the white sheets, the air-conditioner humming, the smell of strange meat that the Laotian refugees cooked in the house behind them. The bed had swayed then, the growing distance between them an ocean as placid as the unsuspecting smile on his face. After he gave her the ring and they ate their dinner, they had floated down the road, their car enveloping them in silence. They held hands over the gear-shift, the new ring sparkled, floating reflections from the headlights of passing cars. The two people who trudged along the highway appeared to have just floated in, too, pushing a small stroller, the baby on the woman's hip, its blonde curly head buried in her shoulder.
We have to stop, she told him, lifting her hand from his, his own down-shifting as they slowed and she rolled down her window and spoke to them, her words floating out into their open, surprised faces, white in the night air.