Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Night Lights

It's a Waning Gibbous Moon tonight. This happens after the moon is "Full", and has just begun to turn its face away from the Earth's in its rotation, relative to ours. Sometimes the Waning Gibbous is mistaken for a "Full" moon because of how large and tangible it appears in the night sky. I feel like I am a Waning Gibbous tonight: tangible and big, but not really filled.

   There are kids outside playing night games right now. I saw them on my drive home, catching fireflies and holding them like secrets, close to their bantam, pounding chests. It's 1:16 on a Friday night in June, and their older cousins are still in the bars two miles away, hoping that someone will think they are worth some heightened breathing. 

    I almost convinced myself, today, to purchase two things: A beautiful Schwinn Varsity bicycle in space-age sparkle green (you know the type that looks like it's brand new, even though it's probably older than my own parents). The other thing was a baby's high chair. It was wooden and obviously had seen the feedings of many, many children over the years, most of whom are now wizened old timers themselves. What a heritage. Neither of these two items would actually fit my (financial or emotional) budget, and neither of them was a real match for my life, but I spent a substantial time talking myself down from the nerves of walking away from them. I'm still thinking about them at 1:19 on a Friday night. They seem, somehow, to represent more to me than just objects.


    There is a house up the block from mine where very fat women live. They wear boldly colored frocks and seem incredibly sweaty and full. They aren't particularly smart or friendly, except with one another. There are probably eight of them crammed into that tiny space that was built by and for small, malnourished German refugee immigrants in the early 1910's. That's what this place looks like with its history. 
    Every day, the fat women come out to their porch and sit for a few hours in the late morning. They always get hungry around 1:30, and they always convene in the shade of their fledgeling Chinese Maple that grows in the patch of grass between the road (which ends as a dead end at the railroad tracks two houses down). They have a picnic table set up there for their lunches. They are never outside after 3:00, unless it is after 6:30. They are usually back by then, all sitting around again, wondering aloud about the moon and their old stuffed animals. I have heard them. They seem to be extravagant women whose lives revolve around one thing: joy. It is remarkable to see such a gathering, really. I used to hate them for their bonds. Tonight, though, as I drove past the fat women's street, I saw those firefly gatherers on the other side of the road, and felt happy for them all. I looked down to the fat ladies' table, hoping (as I always do when I pass their street) to catch a glimpse of their clown-car life. They had apparently all gone to bed (afterall, it was 1:04 on a Friday night). But set up and gleaming on the table was a single, long candle set in a candlestick. It was miraculously lit, and blowing gently in the constant breeze that seems to be pregnant with impending storm. I was reminded of the advice that I was given about buying candlesticks, and then was forced (again) to re-revisit my thoughts about that baby chair and the bicycle. A professor told me before I went to Europe, to invest some substantial money into some fine Italian silver candlesticks, and that I would thank myself when I was an old lady with children who needed something to remember me by.
    But I don't want to be remembered for candlesticks. I want to be remembered for chasing fireflies at 1:16 on Friday nights in June with little legs, and for that well-worn chair, and for wanting to bike everywhere I could desire to travel.

    And then I let myself cry for the first time in too long to this song. I wasn't really sad, just sort of whelmed and needing to let something go. At 1:10 on a Friday night in June.

    And the crickets and cicadas have begun their music again for the summer.


Jasie said...

I don't need to say this (you must know) but you are the loveliest. I'm glad I read this tonight, on a Friday night at 3:00 am looking at the same Waning Gibbous Moon that you saw. I haven't seen any fireflies yet, but I thought there would be some down here. Maybe I'm too entrenched in the city. I haven't been paying too much attention to the earth these days, and I'm glad someone so observant and thoughtful is out there.

Skypattie79 said...

I know how you feel Skippy girl. If you get a chance, go back and get the baby chair. Go to the bike kitchen and 'do' your bike up right. Take some cookies to the fat ladies and their kids. And by all means, catch lightin' bugs any time you want and cry when you need to let it out. Sounds like your night was full and a bit cathartic. Luv you!

madeline said...

i could read this forever.