It is terribly, terribly early in the morning, about 3 AM at this
point, in fact. But I fell asleep accidentally on the couch reading,
and then tossed and turned for hours. I tried sleeping in the
bedroom (didn't work either) until I gave in, deposited the pug
with the sleeping B. and just got up, to attempt t0 decipher what
exactly my body's deal was.
I make a bathroom stop, throw on some loose clothes left on the
floor there from yoga the other day, and ready myself to tiptoe
out unto my back porch on eggshells to get some nicotine. On eggshells,
because the cranky woman next door apparently is highly bothered
by my going out onto the back porch in the morning to smoke. I
know this not because she was a grownup and told me so, but because
she whined to our landlord about being able to hear our door shut
and smell the smoke from outside. Now, had she told me directly,
I would have been as considerate as possible. But. But, she chose
a bedroom right on the back door, to a hall we all share that
leads outside and downstairs. And. And, I am the only tenant in
the building that doesn't smoke INSIDE. If it's bothering her
somehow when I am OUTSIDE, whatever would she do if I smoked in
here, I ask you? And it drives me batty when people go third-party
without trying first-party first. Okay, I am finished with my
martyred smoker routine now. I now return you to your regularly
I step outside, and what I can't miss are the unbelievably gorgeous
clouds in the black sky, floating past her as she illuminates
them from within; perfectly full, round, silver orb.
"Ah, it's you then, " I say inside my mind (if smoking wakes my
neighbor, I can rest assured that speaking to planets at 3 AM
would likely disturb her as well).
"Well, someone is up late," she says, in her own way, the way
I can hear, or imagine I do.
"Try up early, " I reply. "You know me. At this stage in the game,
I'm up for good now, like it or no. You rang?"
"Did I?" she says, head tilting slightly.
"Oh, don't be coy, Moonie. It certainly wasn't gas that woke me,
or the sudden urge to alter my sleep schedule so that I could
more closely resemble a wombat."
She parries. "Didn't know I'd be out here, did you?" Hmm. Sounds
like a guilt trip, smells like a guilt trip, must be a...
I cut to the chase. "No, I didn't. I confess, I've been terribly
lax in keeping track of your comings and goings lately. The whole
last year, actually, I've been downright sloth-ly when it comes
to paying you mind. I'm sorry."
I take a deep drag off my Camel, trying to exhale so the smoke
goes to some other neighborhood, lest it disturb my neighbor.
"You don't need to be sorry...." she starts.
"Oh, bullshit," I cut in, waking up a little more. "Sure I do,
or you wouldn't have dragged my sleepy ass out here into the cold
at three in the morning." She inclines her round face towards
my cigarette. "Oh, fine, it dragged me out here, but you dragged
me out of bed in the first place."
"You really don't have to be sorry," she says gently. "I just
thought that on Samhain, the end of the year happening at this
moment -- fortuitously, when I'm full, twice this month, no less,
and I'm not just saying that to flatter myself -- you might want
a little reminder to pay a bit more attention to me in the coming
year. You used to pay me lots of attention..."
"If you begin singing 'You Don't Bring Me Flowers,' I warn you,
I will utterly lose my mind. Plus, you'll wake the neighbors."
"My apologies. The point is, we used to spend whole nights together
a decade back, our gazes locked, and I do think it was very good
for you, if I recall rightly. I know you've changed some as you've
grown, but I think you can figure out a way to work paying me
mind into your current practice, can't you?"
She's right, of course (how could the moon be wrong?). I have
left her by the wayside lately, and it used to be that the sight
of her face could make my eyes tear up and my heart ache. Everywhere
I traveled, I would find her, and I would center myself and remember
that everywhere she was was my home; I was always home in her
presence. I would bay at her, weep with her: ten years or so back,
I spent a night on the cliffs at Exmoor with her, feeling the
hard winds try and pull me into the waves, staring at her for
strength, feeling her power. Many, many a time she has filled
my limbs with passion and fuel and fire that I've shared and sated
howling, growling, gripping the body beside and within me. Few
things in life are constant, and the moon, in her way, and in
her inconstancy, is one of the most constant things I know. And
I do miss her, and I smile at her cheek, at her strong ego, at
her feminine wiles, at her glow; luminously quiet but intense
as burning embers.
"Yes, I certainly can," I say softly. "I've truly missed you."
"And I you, lass, " she says, and I realize she sounds astoundingly
like me. Now, isn't that odd. "I don't mean to be hasty, but I
will have to go soon, and I've a few more folks who need a talking
to before the night's up."
"I understand completely. And I need caffeine before I get a migraine
anyway. Power of the moon or no, I'm an addict. Thanks for the
reminder. What do you say, same time next month?"
I feel her smile over my face, softly silver and shimmering, with
a chill that always reminds me how transitory each moment is,
even in constancy, even in those things which are timeless.
"I'd like that very much," she says, grinning insouciantly as
the clouds caress her cheeks and her face fades a bit.
"Me too," I reply, smiling, making quiet resolutions for the upcoming
year, silently reaffirming those things I am loyal to, those things
I wish to surround myself with, those things I wish to remember
to savor and appreciate. However, starting my day at 3 AM isn't
one of them. I thought I was done with that when I stopped working
the Farmer's Markets. "But can we make it, say... 6ish instead
She just gives me that look. That's what I thought. Oh well. My
neighbor will just have to deal. You can't negotiate rules with
the moon, and hell if she cares if you're sleeping when she wants
© 2001, 2004 Heather Corinna. All rights reserved.