My wife was admiring the moonlight shining through the clouds. A half moon, she said. I could have told her. For whatever reasons, my emotional energy crashes on a half moon. Usually I want to light myself on fire and jump into the gorge. Fortunately this involves getting out of my chair and I have never done that yet. She didn’t even know. I’m good at hiding if I have a scrap of something to amuse me.
But once again I left the motor running with the dog inside. Soon comparisons were ricocheting off the walls. I could feel the floor begin to tilt. The dusty stacks of unread magazines collapsed and slid across the room. What do you mean the weather’s getting colder and I have to buy some wood? We haven’t found a place to move to yet but we’re all set because I put off all the scary stuff to see to after. A couple years ago I realized I didn’t have to vacuum cobwebs off the walls because of, you know, moving. (Listing to port now about 15°, hang on.) You see the thrust of this. An article at BusinessWeek said couples needed $1.7 million to retire. My ass. The way I know that isn’t true is I’m not dead. I’m also not retired, but apparently I ought to be. [Ding-ding-ding!] Wrong, grasshopper. None of this is you, just cosmic wind. And never make comparisons!
My wife was on her way to bed. Apropos of nothing, she hollered out of the blue the way they do,”Everything is going to be all right. Everything is all right!”
“Exactly,” I said. “For the immediate future, we’re all right.”
But what about the magazines and teeth and glasses? What about a home, forgodssakes? What about my knee bones dancing in the dark? Why was everything I thought I cared about all upside down? How dare anyone feel all right. My problem of the moment was that I was starving. Having recently discovered I can no longer digest milk, there was hardly anything to eat but at least I wasn’t bloated. For three nights straight I hadn’t woken in the night swole up like thunder, gasping for a breath and reaching for the oximeter in the dark. This is not a path you want to go down if you live at seven thousand feet.
Since my latest self-invented kick is remembering there’s nothing between me and my dreams, I tried it. Like using a leaf blower on your thoughts. I let it roar a moment and felt lighter in my chair.
“You know what? There’s nothing wrong with us, but we are strange…”
She had me say it again and laughed. Back in junior high school, strange was cool. As a grownup, I felt reassured. A calm descended in the old adobe. She went to bed and I ate cookies dunked in coffee as the moon slid down behind the shadows and was gone.